MetLife Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (MET)

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.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- MetLife (NYSE: MET) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B-. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MET's revenue growth trails the industry average of 17.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,872.00 million or 49.76% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 6.58%.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further.
  • METLIFE INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, METLIFE INC reported lower earnings of $1.09 versus $5.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.26 versus $1.09).

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. MetLife has a market cap of $41.0 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.00, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 18.00. Shares are up 11.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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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