Fisher Asset Management LLC Acquires New Stake in MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET)


Fisher Asset Management LLC has purchased a new stake in the stock of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: METGet a rating) during the 1st quarter, according to its last Form 13F filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund bought 3,018 shares of the financial services provider, valued at around $212,000.

Several other major investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Norges Bank acquired a new position in MetLife in Q4 at a value of approximately $430,368,000. KBC Group NV increased its position in MetLife by 181.1% in the 4th quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 2,620,548 shares in the financial services provider worth $163,758,000 after buying an additional 1,688,395 shares in the last quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP LLC increased its position in MetLife by 164.2% in the 4th quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP LLC now owns 2,461,926 shares of the financial services provider worth $153,846,000 after buying an additional 1,530,000 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its position in MetLife by 95.0% in Q1. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,582,973 shares of the financial services provider worth $181,531,000 after buying an additional 1,258,042 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP increased its position in MetLife by 228.6% in the 4th quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 1,290,912 shares of the financial services provider worth $80,668,000 after purchasing an additional 898,006 shares in the last quarter. 89.65% of the shares are held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MetLife Awards Performance

Shares of NYSE: MET opened at $63.30 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $62.89 and a 200-day moving average price of $66.01. MetLife, Inc. has a 12-month low of $57.05 and a 12-month high of $73.18. The company has a market capitalization of $51.48 billion, a price/earnings ratio of 15.75, a PEG ratio of 0.51 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a quick ratio of 0.14, a current ratio of 0.13 and a leverage ratio of 0.37.

Met Life (NYSE: METGet a rating) last announced its results on Wednesday, May 4. The financial services provider reported earnings per share of $2.08 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.45. MetLife had a return on equity of 12.90% and a net margin of 5.26%. The company posted revenue of $17.72 billion in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $16.81 billion. In the same quarter of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $2.20. The company’s revenue for the quarter increased by 6.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts predict MetLife, Inc. will post earnings per share of 6.9 for the current year.

MetLife announced that its board of directors approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 4 that allows the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in stock. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase up to 5.3% of its shares through purchases on the open market. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that a company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

MetLife announces dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 14. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 9 will receive a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-date of this dividend is Monday, August 8. This represents an annualized dividend of $2.00 and a yield of 3.16%. MetLife’s payout ratio is 49.75%.

Changes to analyst ratings

Several research analysts have weighed in on the company. Barclays set a target price of $75.00 on MetLife in a Tuesday July 19 research report. Evercore ISI lowered its target price on MetLife from $81.00 to $80.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, July 6 research report. StockNews.com downgraded MetLife from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a Wednesday, May 11, report. Wolfe Research upgraded MetLife from a “market performer” rating to an “outperformer” rating and raised its price target for the company from $70.00 to $74.00 in a Wednesday 22 report. June. Finally, Citigroup began covering MetLife in a Monday, May 23 report. They have set a “buy” rating and a price target of $77.00 on the stock. One research analyst rated the stock with a hold rating and ten gave the company a buy rating. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $76.45.

Profile MetLife

(Get a rating)

MetLife, Inc, a financial services company, provides insurance, annuity, employee benefits and asset management services worldwide. It operates through five segments: United States; Asia; Latin America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and MetLife Holdings. The company offers life, dental, group short and long term disability, individual disability, pet insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, vision, accident and sickness, and prepaid legal plans; administrative service arrangements only to employers; and general and separate accounts, and synthetic guaranteed interest contracts, as well as variable rate private financing agreements.

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Institutional ownership by quarter for MetLife (NYSE:MET)



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Michael J. Birnbaum