Argent Trust Co boosted its stake in shares of Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) by 5.1% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 46,181 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 2,222 shares during the period. Argent Trust Co’s holdings in Metlife were worth $1,896,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Country Trust Bank increased its holdings in shares of Metlife by 1,052.6% in the 4th quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 876 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Founders Capital Management acquired a new position in shares of Metlife in the 4th quarter valued at about $37,000. CWM LLC increased its holdings in shares of Metlife by 111.4% in the 4th quarter. CWM LLC now owns 983 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $40,000 after purchasing an additional 518 shares during the period. Evolution Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Metlife in the 4th quarter valued at about $53,000. Finally, San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA increased its holdings in shares of Metlife by 22.5% in the 4th quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 1,433 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $59,000 after purchasing an additional 263 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.98% of the company’s stock.
MET has been the topic of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Metlife from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 19th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Metlife in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. Sandler O’Neill upgraded Metlife from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded Metlife from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. Finally, Argus reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Metlife in a report on Tuesday. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. Metlife presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $53.16.
Metlife (NYSE:MET) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 6th. The financial services provider reported $1.35 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $15.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.84 billion. Metlife had a return on equity of 10.24% and a net margin of 7.53%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.64 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Metlife Inc will post 5.51 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 5th will be paid a $0.42 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 4th. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.80%. Metlife’s payout ratio is 31.17%.
Metlife announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase 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 reacquire up to 4.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Metlife news, EVP Steven J. Goulart sold 10,292 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.40, for a total transaction of $456,964.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 93,214 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,138,701.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Carlos M. Gutierrez bought 6,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 17th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $39.04 per share, with a total value of $249,856.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 4,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $182,238.72. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.
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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