MetLife Inc Stock Downgraded (MET)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- MetLife (NYSE: MET) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, METLIFE INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • MET, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 5.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for METLIFE INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 6.50%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.40% trails that of the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 106.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1,006.00 million to -$64.00 million.
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MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.6, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. MetLife has a market cap of $38.01 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are up 12.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full MetLife Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff
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