MetLife Inc (MET): Today's Featured Financial Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

MetLife ( MET) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, MetLife fell 61 cents (-1.9%) to $32.27 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.9 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $32.24-$32.69 after having opened the day at $32.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.88. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: Plumas Bancorp ( PLBC), down 19.8%, Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 18.8%, Southern Connecticut Bancorp ( SSE), down 10.8%, and Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), down 10%.
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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. MetLife has a market cap of $35.78 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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