Marietta Wealth Management LLC cut its holdings in shares of Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) by 15.9% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 8,075 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 1,529 shares during the period. Marietta Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Metlife were worth $332,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Metlife by 12.3% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 52,498,328 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,452,721,000 after purchasing an additional 5,760,379 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC grew its holdings in shares of Metlife by 5.7% during the third quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 11,094,762 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $518,347,000 after buying an additional 595,175 shares during the last quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Metlife by 3.4% during the third quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 10,890,882 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $508,822,000 after buying an additional 363,066 shares during the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Metlife by 1.9% during the third quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 8,470,138 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $395,725,000 after buying an additional 155,350 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Metlife by 23.3% during the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 4,581,324 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $214,040,000 after buying an additional 866,060 shares during the last quarter. 77.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other Metlife news, Director Carlos M. Gutierrez purchased 6,400 shares of the 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 completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 4,668 shares in the company, valued at $182,238.72. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 0.34% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Metlife (NYSE:MET) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 6th. The financial services provider reported $1.35 EPS for the quarter, beating the 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 company had revenue of $15.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.84 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.64 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up .0% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Metlife Inc will post 5.51 earnings per share for the current year.
Metlife announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, November 1st that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase up to 4.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 13th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 5th will be issued a $0.42 dividend. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, February 4th. Metlife’s payout ratio is 31.17%.
A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on MET. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Metlife from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, November 20th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Metlife from $52.00 to $54.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 13th. Royal Bank of Canada dropped their price objective on shares of Metlife from $57.00 to $50.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, December 17th. Bank of America raised shares of Metlife from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.06 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Metlife from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $53.16.
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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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