The Unum Group (UNM) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

The Unum Group (UNM) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Unum Group significantly outperformed the Zacks categorized Accident & Health industry, over the last three months. Unum’s premiums continue to increase, fueled by solid persistency levels in core business lines and sturdy volume of sales, along with solid benefits experience. Acquisitions have provided additional support. Starmount Life Insurance Company buyout gave access to growth opportunities in the dental market, which is in sync with its strategy to focus more on the employee benefits business. Sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting Unum U.K. results. It is set to report its fourth quarter results on Feb 1. A Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of a beat, but combined with Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes prediction difficult.”

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price objective on Unum Group from $36.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 15th. Compass Point downgraded Unum Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $42.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday, November 28th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. RBC Capital Markets restated a sector perform rating on shares of Unum Group in a research note on Friday, December 9th. Barclays PLC restated a buy rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Unum Group in a research note on Monday, January 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upped their price objective on Unum Group from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a sell rating in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $39.54.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) opened at 44.43 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $10.31 billion, a PE ratio of 11.66 and a beta of 1.56. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $43.99 and a 200-day moving average price of $37.55. Unum Group has a 12 month low of $23.99 and a 12 month high of $45.47.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $0.99 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.04. The firm earned $2.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.74 billion. Unum Group had a return on equity of 10.24% and a net margin of 8.29%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.83 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Unum Group will post $3.90 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, January 30th will be issued a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 26th. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.80%. Unum Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 20.94%.

In other news, EVP Christopher J. Jerome sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.49, for a total transaction of $331,920.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CFO John F. Mcgarry sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.44, for a total value of $497,280.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 198,927 shares of company stock valued at $7,191,844. Insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Unum Group by 4.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,424,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $712,877,000 after buying an additional 875,760 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of Unum Group by 1.8% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 10,541,586 shares of the company’s stock valued at $372,224,000 after buying an additional 183,517 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners increased its stake in shares of Unum Group by 5.9% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 8,717,489 shares of the company’s stock valued at $307,814,000 after buying an additional 483,254 shares in the last quarter. Donald Smith & CO. Inc. increased its stake in shares of Unum Group by 0.4% in the second quarter. Donald Smith & CO. Inc. now owns 6,803,180 shares of the company’s stock valued at $216,273,000 after buying an additional 28,101 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in shares of Unum Group by 0.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 6,574,819 shares of the company’s stock valued at $232,157,000 after buying an additional 47,918 shares in the last quarter. 92.75% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Unum Group

Unum Group is a provider of disability insurance products in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company provides a portfolio of other insurance products, including employer and employee paid group benefits, life insurance and other related services. Its segments are Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate.

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