Dallas, Texas 01/07/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET), the $60.07 billion market capped life insurance firm has earned a downgrade from rating agency UBS yesterday. The agency has pegged the stock to a neutral from its previous recommendation of buy and the analyst price target has been pegged down to $56 per share from previous $58.
The S&P 500 index tracked insurer, Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) ability to evolve fast enough to grow its business and at the same time address the changing needs of its close to 90 million customers is one of the main focus areas for analysts covering the stock. The downgrade by UBS has been explained by its lead analyst Suneet Kamath in the following words, “Our prior positive thesis on the stock was largely predicated on a business mix shift favouring lower beta Protection segments over more capital markets sensitive Investment segments. But with the eventual resumption of capital management, MET’s near-term guidance suggests to us a fairly gradual shift over the next few years.” The analysts of UBS have gone on to predict that the prevailing uncertainty around the regulatory frame work that FED is grappling with is likely to hinder any quick and aggressive capital management.
The share price of Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) dropped by $0.43 percent during trading yesterday, post the announcement by UBS. The stock was trading at $53.48 per share as of close of business yesterday. In spite of the dip, the stock is trading just 1.36 percent below its 52 week high price point and is now trading 60 percent above its 52 week low price point.
On a separate note, the board of directors of Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) announced yesterday a dividend of $0.275 per share to all share holders on record as of February 6. The dividend would be payable on March 13, 2014.