MetLife (MET) To Pay $60 Million For Licensing Violations

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- MetLife (MET) reached a settlement with New York authorities Monday that will see the life insurer pay a $60 million penalty.

Shares of MetLife were gaining 0.5% to $52.81.

The company will pay the penalty for allowing two subsidiaries to operate in New York without first obtaining the license needed to sell insurance. MetLife will pay $50 million to the Department of Financial Services, and $10 to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

MetLife also agreed to cooperate with the DFS investigation into American International Group (AIG), which sold the businesses to the company in 2010.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates METLIFE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate METLIFE INC (MET) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 13.6%. 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 ($5.71 versus $2.91).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 228.36% to $6,147.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, METLIFE INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 22.05%.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 1183.33% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 37.21% 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.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MET Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.

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