Unum Group (UNM) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Unum Group have underperformed the industry in a year. Persistent soft results at Closed Block and Corporate segment remains a headwind.  The company has also witnessed its 2019 and 2020 estimates moved south in the last 60 days. The company is set to report first quarter results on Apr 30. A Zacks Rank #4 and earnings EPS of -2.12% makes positive surprise prediction difficult.  Nonetheless, premiums increased fueled by high persistency levels in core business lines and strong sales volume along with a solid benefits experience. Acquisitions provided an additional boost. Continued rollout of dental product and geographic expansion are paying off as acquired dental insurance businesses are growing in the United States and United Kingdom Sound capital generation and financial flexibility aided active capital deployment. The company projects operating earnings per share to grow between 4% and 7% in 2019.”

UNM has been the subject of a number of other research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their price objective on shares of Unum Group from $50.00 to $45.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. TheStreet upgraded shares of Unum Group from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $49.75.

Shares of NYSE:UNM opened at $36.94 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.17 and a quick ratio of 0.17. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.10, a PEG ratio of 0.74 and a beta of 1.46. Unum Group has a 52 week low of $26.76 and a 52 week high of $49.33.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 5th. The financial services provider reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.31 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $2.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.91 billion. Unum Group had a net margin of 4.51% and a return on equity of 12.69%. Unum Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.13 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Unum Group will post 5.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 17th. Investors of record on Monday, April 29th will be given a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.82%. Unum Group’s payout ratio is currently 20.00%.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Unum Group in the fourth quarter valued at about $25,000. We Are One Seven LLC purchased a new position in Unum Group in the fourth quarter valued at about $29,000. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. increased its holdings in Unum Group by 81.4% in the fourth quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 1,288 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $38,000 after buying an additional 578 shares in the last quarter. Stamos Capital Partners L.P. purchased a new position in Unum Group in the fourth quarter valued at about $60,000. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its holdings in Unum Group by 3,369.3% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 2,096,410 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $71,000 after buying an additional 2,035,983 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.47% of the company’s stock.

Unum Group Company Profile

Unum Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection benefit solutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, and internationally. It operates through Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, and Closed Block segments. The company offers group long-term and short-term disability, group life, and accidental death and dismemberment products; supplemental and voluntary products, such as individual disability, voluntary benefits, and dental and vision products; and accident, sickness, disability, life, and cancer and critical illness products.

Read More: Do You Need a Fiduciary?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Unum Group (UNM)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)

Receive News & Ratings for Unum Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Unum Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.