Short Interest in Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) Declines By 8.9%

Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) saw a large decline in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 9,173,300 shares, a decline of 8.9% from the June 30th total of 10,067,600 shares. Approximately 1.1% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 4,600,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.0 days.

MET stock traded up $0.62 during trading on Friday, reaching $45.35. 7,142,922 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,236,425. The company has a 50-day moving average of $49.07 and a two-hundred day moving average of $46.70. The company has a market capitalization of $43.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.41, a P/E/G ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 1.09. Metlife has a twelve month low of $37.76 and a twelve month high of $51.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.14 and a quick ratio of 0.14.

Metlife (NYSE:MET) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $16.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $16.43 billion. Metlife had a net margin of 9.28% and a return on equity of 9.75%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 22.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.30 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Metlife will post 5.65 EPS for the current year.



The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 13th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.44 per share. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 5th. Metlife’s payout ratio is 32.65%.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on MET shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Metlife from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Citigroup set a $42.00 target price on shares of Metlife and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 23rd. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of Metlife from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 22nd. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their target price on shares of Metlife from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Metlife from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $50.91.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Metlife by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 72,819,515 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,616,945,000 after acquiring an additional 1,385,433 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 67,442,713 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,349,879,000 after purchasing an additional 797,115 shares during the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 18,878,509 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $937,696,000 after purchasing an additional 564,654 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 7.4% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,421,536 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $509,344,000 after purchasing an additional 856,479 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Clearbridge Investments LLC boosted its stake in shares of Metlife by 2.9% in the 1st quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 11,907,582 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $506,906,000 after purchasing an additional 332,510 shares during the last quarter. 75.13% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Metlife

MetLife, Inc engages in the insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset management businesses. It operates through five segments: U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and MetLife Holdings. The company offers life, dental, group short- and long-term disability, individual disability, accidental death and dismemberment, vision, and accident and health coverages, as well as prepaid legal plans; administrative services-only arrangements to employers; and stable value products, including general and separate account guaranteed interest contracts, and private floating rate funding agreements.

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