NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Symetra Financial (SYA)  was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Jefferies, which raised its price target to $32 from $28. 

The firm also lowered 2015 earnings estimates to $1.74 from $1.75 per share, with 2016 and 2017 earnings cut to $1.97 and $2.11, from $1.98 and $2.13 per share, respectively.

The firm noted that they adjusted rating following the announcement on Tuesday that Sumitomo Life Insurance Company will acquire Symetra for $32 per share.

"Key risks for Symetra Financial include competitive product marketplace, underwriting experience, impact of interest rates on spread margins; and potential regulatory changes," Jefferies analysts said.

Symetra Financial, based in Bellevue, WA, is a financial services company in the life insurance industry that products are distributed through benefits consultants, financial institutions, broker-dealers and independent agents and advisers.

Shares of Symetra Financial are rising 0.25% to $31.67 in mid-morning trading Friday.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates SYMETRA FINANCIAL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate SYMETRA FINANCIAL CORP (SYA) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Although SYA's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, SYA has outperformed against the industry average of 14.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • SYMETRA FINANCIAL CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SYMETRA FINANCIAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.19 versus $1.75 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 20.1% in earnings ($1.75 versus $2.19).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SYA Ratings Report