MetLife (MET) Stock Gaining on Analyst Upgrade

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of MetLife (MET) are advancing 2.01% to $57.32 after analysts at RBC Capital Markets upgraded the company today to "outperform" from "sector perform" with a price target of $68.

After meeting with CEO Steve Kandarian, the firm was lead to believe MetLife may launch another share repurchase on top of the $1 billion repurchase in quarter in its first quarter, according to the analyst note.

Additionally, the company may be better positioned than any other publicly traded life insurer to benefit from the rise in interest rates. This is because MetLife had to establish billions of dollars of reserves when interest rates were at their lows and is now in a position to release some of these reserves into earnings should rates rise further, analyst said.

MetLife provides life insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset management products in the U.S., Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Separately, 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, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel its 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 9.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.4%. 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, METLIFE INC increased its bottom line by earning $5.42 versus $2.91 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.89 versus $5.42).
  • 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 62.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1,328.00 million to $2,158.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $2,686.00 million or 8.13% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, METLIFE INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 21.66%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MET Ratings Report

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