MetLife Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (MET)

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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 compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 201.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$954.00 million to $972.00 million.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 191.30% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 46.02% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • METLIFE INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in 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 ($5.62 versus $1.09).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further.

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 $55.9 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.00, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 18.00. Shares are up 49.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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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