Buy Recommendation Reiterated For MetLife Inc

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 revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 21.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • METLIFE INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, METLIFE INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.91 versus $1.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.70 versus $2.91).
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 1183.33% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 33.36% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Insurance industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 615.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $127.00 million to $908.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for METLIFE INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.62%. Regardless of MET's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.91% trails the industry average.

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 $56.5 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are down 6.5% 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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