MetLife’s 4Q Profit Beats Estimates; Shares Gain

Shares of MetLife gained 3.3% in Wednesday’s extended trading session after the insurance company reported 4Q results that exceeded analysts’ expectations and marked year-over-year growth.

MetLife’s (MET) 4Q adjusted earnings increased 3% to $2.03 per share year-over-year and beat Street estimates of $1.53. Higher variable income, underwriting, and improvement in margins drove Metlife’s 4Q earnings.

Adjusted revenues soared 13% year-on-year to $20.6 billion and surpassed the consensus mark of $18.15 billion. MetLife’s adjusted premiums, fees, and other revenues jumped 15% year-over-year while adjusted investment income grew 8%. (See MetLife stock analysis on TipRanks)

MetLife CEO Michel Khalaf said, “MetLife delivered a very strong fourth quarter of 2020, capping off a year in which the strength of our diversified businesses was on full display.”

Last month, Piper Sandler analyst John Barnidge upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold citing expectations for a reduction in earnings volatility following the sale of MetLife’s property and casualty business. Barnidge also raised the stock’s price target to $52 (5.3% upside potential) from $45.

Overall, consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy based on 8 Buys and 1 Hold. The average analyst price target of $53.78 implies upside potential of about 8.9% to current levels. Shares have lost 0.6% over the past year.

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