Welch & Forbes LLC Decreases Stake in Metlife Inc (MET)

Welch & Forbes LLC trimmed its stake in shares of Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) by 10.4% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 19,885 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 2,305 shares during the period. Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings in Metlife were worth $816,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MET. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in shares of Metlife in the fourth quarter worth approximately $60,000. Parkside Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Metlife by 48.4% in the fourth quarter. Parkside Investments LLC now owns 36,934 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,516,000 after purchasing an additional 12,040 shares during the period. IndexIQ Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Metlife by 57.0% in the fourth quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 152,634 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,267,000 after purchasing an additional 55,438 shares during the period. Country Trust Bank boosted its position in shares of Metlife by 1,052.6% in the fourth quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 876 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $36,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Metlife by 6.4% in the fourth quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 42,202 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,733,000 after purchasing an additional 2,520 shares during the period. 77.98% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:MET traded up $1.03 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $44.31. 126,246 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,550,107. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24, a quick ratio of 0.14 and a current ratio of 0.14. Metlife Inc has a one year low of $37.76 and a one year high of $48.92. The firm has a market cap of $42.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.23, a P/E/G ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.20.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 6th. The financial services provider reported $1.35 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.05. Metlife had a net margin of 7.53% and a return on equity of 10.24%. The firm had revenue of $15.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.84 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.64 earnings per share. Metlife’s revenue for the quarter was up .0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that Metlife Inc will post 5.51 earnings per share for the current year.

Metlife declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, November 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy up to 4.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 5th will be given a dividend of $0.42 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, February 4th. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.79%. Metlife’s dividend payout ratio is 31.17%.

In related news, Director Carlos M. Gutierrez bought 6,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 17th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $39.04 per share, for a total transaction of $249,856.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 4,668 shares in the company, valued at $182,238.72. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.34% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Metlife in a research report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Metlife from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, November 13th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $60.00 price target on shares of Metlife and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, November 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada dropped their price target on shares of Metlife from $57.00 to $50.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, December 17th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Metlife from $52.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 13th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $53.16.

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Metlife Company Profile

MetLife, Inc engages in the insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset management businesses. It operates through five segments: U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and MetLife Holdings. The company offers life, dental, group short- and long-term disability, individual disability, accidental death and dismemberment, vision, and accident and health coverages, as well as prepaid legal plans; administrative services-only arrangements to employers; and stable value products, including general and separate account guaranteed interest contracts, and private floating rate funding agreements.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Metlife (NYSE:MET)

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