Voya Financial (VOYA) Stock Coverage Initiated at Goldman Sachs

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Coverage of Voya Financial (VOYAstock was initiated today at Goldman Sachs with a "buy" rating and $50 price target.

"Voya is in the midst of a multi-year turnaround that provides levers to improve ROE, while the firm still trades at 80% of book value," analysts said.  

Last week, the retirement, investment, and insurance company reported strong first quarter earnings of 77 cents per share on revenue of $324 million, compared to 57 cents a share on revenue of $268 million in the same quarter a year ago.

The company in the first quarter was expected to earn 75 cents per share on revenue of $309.24, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

"We reached an important and significant milestone as an independent company during the quarter as ING Group sold its remaining shares of Voya Financial," Chairman and CEO Rodney O. Martin said. 

Additionally, Goldman Sachs expects Voya Financial to repurchase shares worth 20% of their market cap by 2017.

Shares of Voya Financial are down 0.6% to $44.68 in Friday's mid-day trading.

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

"We rate VOYA FINANCIAL INC (VOYA) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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