Unum Group (UNM) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Unum Group have outperformed industry in a year. The company’s premiums continue to increase, fueled by solid persistency levels in core business lines and sturdy volume of sales, along with solid benefits experience. Acquisitions have provided an additional support. Starmount Life Insurance Company buyout gave access to growth opportunities in the dental market, which is in sync with its strategy to focus more on the employee benefits business. Given wide acceptance of the Unum Dental group insurance plans, Unum Dental plans is available across the country A sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. Unum expects 2017 operating earnings to grow at or slightly above 5-8% range. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting the Unum U.K. results.”

UNM has been the subject of several other research reports. Wells Fargo & Co set a $48.00 price target on shares of Unum Group and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a buy rating and issued a $58.00 price target on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a hold rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Deutsche Bank began coverage on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. They issued a hold rating and a $58.00 price target for the company. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Unum Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Unum Group presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $54.91.

Shares of Unum Group (UNM) traded up $0.49 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $56.96. 1,218,900 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,446,833. The stock has a market cap of $12,970.00, a P/E ratio of 13.37, a PEG ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 1.66. The company has a quick ratio of 0.17, a current ratio of 0.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. Unum Group has a twelve month low of $43.55 and a twelve month high of $57.55.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.04 by $0.05. Unum Group had a net margin of 8.67% and a return on equity of 10.37%. The business had revenue of $2.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.82 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Unum Group will post 4.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Unum Group news, EVP Lisa G. Iglesias sold 8,459 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.83, for a total transaction of $463,806.97. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Timothy Gerald Arnold sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.07, for a total transaction of $55,070.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 21,122 shares of company stock valued at $1,136,688. 0.53% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Gotham Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Unum Group by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 4,475 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $209,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares during the period. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI acquired a new position in shares of Unum Group during the 2nd quarter worth $1,427,000. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its stake in shares of Unum Group by 3.7% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 785,277 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $40,151,000 after purchasing an additional 27,791 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its stake in shares of Unum Group by 11.5% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 273,147 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $12,736,000 after purchasing an additional 28,259 shares during the period. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Unum Group by 4.1% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 133,127 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,208,000 after purchasing an additional 5,232 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.52% of the company’s stock.

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About Unum Group

Unum Group is a provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company’s products include disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision, and other related services. Its segments include Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate.

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