Unum Group (UNM) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $63.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 8.21% from the stock’s current price.

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.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price objective on shares of Unum Group in a research note on Thursday. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Unum Group from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on Unum Group in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. They set a “hold” rating and a $58.00 price objective for the company. Wells Fargo & Co set a $48.00 price objective on Unum Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Unum Group in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Unum Group has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.00.

Unum Group (NYSE UNM) traded up $0.70 on Friday, hitting $58.22. The stock had a trading volume of 1,270,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,473,650. The company has a market cap of $13,160.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.67, a PEG ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 1.66. The company has a current ratio of 0.17, a quick ratio of 0.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. Unum Group has a 1-year low of $43.55 and a 1-year high of $58.50.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last released 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. The business had revenue of $2.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.82 billion. Unum Group had a return on equity of 10.37% and a net margin of 8.67%. The company’s revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.01 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Unum Group will post 4.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director E Michael Caulfield sold 3,814 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.42, for a total value of $199,929.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher J. Jerome sold 7,849 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.24, for a total value of $417,880.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 21,122 shares of company stock valued at $1,136,688. 0.53% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of UNM. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of Unum Group by 8,280.8% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,062,519 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $96,175,000 after acquiring an additional 2,037,909 shares in the last quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Unum Group by 370.0% during the second quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 874,161 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $40,762,000 after acquiring an additional 688,176 shares in the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. raised its holdings in shares of Unum Group by 2,958.0% during the third quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 637,002 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $32,570,000 after acquiring an additional 616,171 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of Unum Group by 21.2% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,944,398 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $150,548,000 after acquiring an additional 515,351 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its holdings in shares of Unum Group by 73.0% during the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 873,039 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $40,710,000 after acquiring an additional 368,361 shares in the last quarter. 91.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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