It makes sense and dollars to buy MetLife Inc. (MET) stock

MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET) stock fell -1.63% on Friday to $63.47 against a previous-day closing price of $64.52. With 4.47 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 4.17 million shares. During the session, the Insurance – Life company that operates in wider Financial sector, reached to the highest price of $64.88 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $63.32. The 52-week range on MET shows that it touched its highest point at $73.18 and its lowest point at $57.05 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $77.53. With its current market cap of 51.10 billion, MET has annualized dividend of $2.00 while the current yield stands at 3.15%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.04.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of MET was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -3.38%, but this was down by -3.35% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 3.49% while six-month performance fell -8.57%. The stock gained 6.76% in the past year, while it has gained 1.57% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for MET yields 4.01 with Next year EPS estimates of 8.30. For the next quarter, that number is 1.45. This implies an EPS growth rate of 28.60% for this year and 11.08% for next year. EPS is expected to decline by -0.44% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 18.40%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 809.70 million MET shares are outstanding with a float of 670.73 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 11.27 million, which was 1.39% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Michel Abbas Khalaf as the firm’s CEO, Pres & Director, Mr. John Dennis McCallion CPA serves as its Exec. VP & CFO.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 75.98% of MET’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 42.93% of MET, in contrast to 32.18% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 16.35%. As the largest shareholder in MET with 7.14% of the stake, Dodge & Cox holds 56,975,235 shares worth 56,975,235. A second-largest stockholder of MET, The Vanguard Group, Inc., holds 54,168,395 shares, controlling over 6.79% of the firm’s shares. Wellington Management Co. LLP is the third largest shareholder in MET, holding 39,249,779 shares or 4.92% stake. With a 4.86% stake in MET, the Dodge & Cox Stock Fund is the largest stakeholder. A total of 38,724,942 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, which owns about 2.26% of MET stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 18,009,899 shares valued at 1.16 billion. Vanguard 500 Index Fund holds 1.93% of the stake in MET, owning 15,423,418 shares worth 992.19 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for MET since 19 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 15 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 1 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 2 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 1 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With MET analysts setting a high price target of $83.00 and a low target of $74.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $77.53. Based on these targets, MET could surge 30.77% to reach the target high and rise by 16.59% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 22.15% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. MET will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/01/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $8.22 being high and $6.65 being low. For MET, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $7.50. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. MetLife Inc. surprised analysts by $0.55 when it reported $2.00 EPS against a consensus estimate of $1.45. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.43. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $2.00 and the low estimate is $0.73. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $1.46.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded MET stock several times over the past three months with 1 Buys and 2 Sells. In these transactions, 5,513 shares were bought while 8,120 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 91 while that of sell transactions has risen to 25 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 745,373 while 419,096 shares were sold.

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