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MetLife, Inc. (MET)

  • Tue, Jul. 28, 12:37 PM
    • So-called living wills required by those financials deemed systemically important are supposed to provide a detailed plan for how a company might safely wind itself down amid the next financial crisis.
    • In what probably shouldn't be a surprise given how regulators sent the banks back to the drawing board last year, the Federal Reserve and FDIC have found deficiencies in the plans of GE Capital (NYSE:GE), AIG, and Prudential (NYSE:PRU). The three had filed initial plans one year ago. Versions two are due by year-end.
    • MetLife (NYSE:MET) has also been deemed a SIFI, but was given an extension and doesn't have to file its living will until next year.
    | Tue, Jul. 28, 12:37 PM | 11 Comments
  • Wed, Jul. 8, 11:30 AM
    | Wed, Jul. 8, 11:30 AM | Comment!
  • Wed, Jun. 24, 10:11 AM
    • “With the benefit of five years of experience, the Fed is continuing to assess its stress-testing program, and to make appropriate changes,” says Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer in prepared remarks at a Stockholm conference. Fischer says the Fed is reaching out to various groups, including bank managements, for feedback on how it might improve the annual effort.
    • The Fed, says Fischer, is also hard at work on how it might adapt the stress-testing framework to make it appropriate for the three insurance companies designated as systemically important - AIG (NYSE:AIG), MetLife (NYSE:MET), and Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU). Apart from being declared SIFIs - AIG and Prudential have accepted their fate, MetLife is suing - the insurers are awaiting guidance as to how capital rules might be tweaked to fit their business models, which are quite a bit different than that of banks.
    | Wed, Jun. 24, 10:11 AM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Jun. 22, 2:44 PM
    • Financials sunk along with Treasury yields last week, but are seeing a strong bounce today alongside a ten basis point gain in the 10-year yield to 2.36%.
    • The XLF is up 1.6% versus the S&P 500's 0.7% gain.
    • Helping U.S. equity markets is movement toward a Greek debt deal which sent Europe's Stoxx 50 hurtling 4% higher on the session. Yields tumbled in the periphery, but are sharply higher in Germany as well as the U.S.
    • Yield-sensitive Bank of America (BAC +1.8%) is leading the TBTF names higher. In regionals: PNC Financial (PCN -0.2%), KeyCorp (KEY +1.2%), Regions Financial (RF +1.4%), SunTrust (STI +1.3%), First Niagara (FNFG +1.2%).
    • Life insurers: MetLife (MET +2%), Prudential (PRU +1.6%), Lincoln FInancial (LNC +1.4%). Online brokers: E*Trade (ETFC +3.3%), Schwab (SCHW +2.2%), Ameritrade (AMTD +1.3%).
    | Mon, Jun. 22, 2:44 PM | 13 Comments
  • Mon, Jun. 22, 9:50 AM
    • Noting the potential for a stock buyback and the tailwind from rising interest rates, RBC upgrades MetLife (MET +1.7%) to Outperform with $68 price target.
    • The insurer, of course, has sued the government over its designation as a SIFI, and last week filed its opening brief in the case. Arguments in front of a federal judge are expected to begin in the fall.
    | Mon, Jun. 22, 9:50 AM | Comment!
  • Fri, Jun. 5, 10:27 AM
    | Fri, Jun. 5, 10:27 AM | 34 Comments
  • Thu, Jun. 4, 7:09 AM
    • Hopefully executives at Prudential (NYSE:PRU) are considering combat pay for MetLife (NYSE:MET) and its CEO Steve Kandarian.
    • Outwardly accepting its non-bank SIFI designation without a fight which could upset its D.C. regulators, Prudential Financial (PRU) is planning to challenge that outcome should MetLife win its legal battle against the government over SIFI, reports the WSJ.
    • Along with General Electric and AIG, MetLife and Prudential are the four companies tagged by regulators with the non-bank SIFI designation which means more oversight and tougher capital rules. MetLife has sued, GE is shedding its GE Capital assets in an effort to rid itself of the designation, and AIG and Prudential decided to just deal with it (given the chance to do some complaining yesterday, AIG CEO Peter Hancock passed).
    • Among the options recently discussed by the Prudential board would be filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of MetLife, but for now, the company will continue to keep a low-profile in the matter.
    | Thu, Jun. 4, 7:09 AM | Comment!
  • Wed, Jun. 3, 12:13 PM
    • Speaking at the Deutsche Bank financial services conference, MetLife (MET +2%) CEO Steve Kandarian hasn't any kind things to say about an Obama administration proposal designed to make sure clients seeking retirement products get the best advice.
    • Webcast
    • It sounds like a nice idea, says Kandarian, but consider the real world, where the proposal is the equivalent of making a Chevy dealer guide potential customers to the Ford guy down the street. "There's not going to be a lot of Chevy dealers, or at least guys or women selling Chevys anymore."
    • Insurance customers, he says, are already well aware they may shop around, and companies are already required to provide disclosure on agent compensation and when a proprietary product is being offered.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    • Previously: MetLife to sue U.S. over SIFI desigation (Jan. 13)
    • Previously: MetLife designated a non-bank SIFI; not pleased (Sept. 4, 2014)
    | Wed, Jun. 3, 12:13 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Jun. 2, 3:31 PM
    • The averages are flat to negative this session, but yield-starved financials are digging the big jump in interest rates - the 10-year Treasury yield is up nine basis points on the session to 2.27%, and 15 bps for the week.
    • Previously: Yields surge as European deflation fears abate (June 2)
    • The Regional Bank ETF (KRE +1.3%) and the Bank ETF (KBE +1.2%).
    • Individual names: Regions Financial (RF +1.6%), New York Community Bank (NYCB +1.3%), Huntington Bancshares (HBAN +1.3%), KeyCorp (KEY +1%), Fifth Third (FITB +1.3%). Thought of as perhaps the most asset-sensitive of the large lenders, Bank of America (BAC +1%) is leading the TBTFs higher.
    • Life insurers: MetLife (MET +1.2%), Prudential (PRU +1.5%), Lincoln Financial (LNC +0.9%), Primerica (PRI +1.2%).
    | Tue, Jun. 2, 3:31 PM | 10 Comments
  • Fri, May 15, 7:10 AM
    • Voya Financial (NYSE:VOYA) is started with a Conviction Buy at Goldman, while Assurant (NYSE:AIZ) is initiated with a Buy.
    • Unum Group (NYSE:UNM), Prudential (NYSE:PRU), MetLife (NYSE:MET), Lincoln Financial (NYSE:LNC), and Aflac (NYSE:AFL) are all started at Neutral.
    | Fri, May 15, 7:10 AM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, May 14, 9:14 AM
    • "A lot of work goes into calculating free cash flow, and it is too volatile on a quarterly basis to be meaningful,” says a MetLife (NYSE:MET) spokesman, responding to a query about why the insurer only reports cash flow on an annual basis, and even then as a percentage of operating earnings, rather than a dollar amount.
    • This, despite CEO Steve Kandarian's downplaying the importance of net income, and saying the insurer's investors need to focus on the amount of free cash being generated. "Nothing is more fundamental than cash," says Kandarian.
    • Prudential (NYSE:PRU) joins MetLife among insurers not being the "most transparent," says S&P IQ's Cathy Seifert. “There’s the talk and then the walk. We’re still getting the talk but maybe the numbers are not playing that out.”
    • Kandarian's goal is to lift free cash flow to half of earnings from about 40% three years ago. The ratio rose to 44% in 2014. As far as returning that to owners, MetLife has had to scale those plans back thanks to still-unanswered questions from D.C. about how new capital rules will apply to non-bank financials.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    | Thu, May 14, 9:14 AM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, May 13, 3:35 PM
    • "Life insurance activities alone did not lead to its designation," according to papers filed in U.S. District Count by the Financial Stability Oversight Council in response to MetLife's (NYSE:MET) suit over its non-bank SIFI designation.
    • The FSOC says Met "engages in significant financial activities beyond simply selling life insurance," thus increasing its reliance on short-term funding. In a crisis, this could force the sale of assets "at a scale and speed that could impair or freeze up broader financial markets."
    • Among those activities are the selling of guaranteed investment contracts (GICs), of which Met has $48B outstanding, funding agreements, and securities lending.
    • Sounds like a roadmap to a settlement.
    • Source: The WSJ's Leslie Scism
    | Wed, May 13, 3:35 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, May 12, 4:46 AM
    • Federal regulators are defending their heightened oversight of giant insurer MetLife (NYSE:MET), saying the company could pose a threat to the U.S. financial system because of its complex transactions and capital-markets activities.
    • In January, MetLife became the first non-bank to challenge a decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council that designated it as a SIFI, or systemically important financial institution.
    | Tue, May 12, 4:46 AM | Comment!
  • Thu, May 7, 2:44 PM
    • The insurer's strategic plan from May 2012 had a goal of operating ROE of 12-14% for 2016 (it was 11.7% in Q1). Low interest rates mean MetLife (MET +0.5%) is now aiming for the low end of that range, and buybacks are another headwind.
    • The plan hoped for $8B in buybacks from 2012 to 2016, and Met - still unsure of capital requirements for non-bank SIFIs - has been cautious. CEO Steven Kandarian on today's earnings call (transcript): "We have not yet seen draft capital rules, and there is no clarity on when those rules will be issued. As a result, it is likely that share repurchases will be substantially lower than we had assumed in our strategic plan."
    • The company did complete its $1B buyback plan in Q1, with Kandarian saying Met was pretty good about buying on the dips - the average purchase price was $49.56 vs. the current $52.13. However, buybacks since 2012 have been just $2B, or 25% of what the insurer hoped for when it set out its goals three years ago.
    • Also suffering from unknown capital requirements is M&A, and acquisitions have contributed about $200M to earnings, or just half of what the plan anticipated.
    • Previously: MetLife slips a little after bottom line beat (May 6)
    • Previously: MetLife beats by $0.03, misses on revenue (May 6)
    | Thu, May 7, 2:44 PM | Comment!
  • Wed, May 6, 4:41 PM
    • Q1 operating earnings of $1.64B or $1.44 per share vs. $1.56B and $1.37 one year ago.
    • Book value per share (excl. AOCI) of $50.45 vs. $47.70.
    • Americas operating earnings of $1.4B up 6% on a constant currency basis. ROE of 14.1%. Premiums, fees, and other revenues of $9.2B up 3%.
    • Asia operating earnings of $327M up 8% on a constant currency basis. ROE of 11.4%. Premiums, fees, and other revenues of $2.2B up 6% on a constant currency basis.
    • EMEA operating earnings of $70M up 35% on a constant currency basis. ROE of 8.4%. Total sales up 14% thanks to strong growth in employee benefit and accident and health sales.
    • Net investment income of $5B down 2% Y/Y.
    • Conference call tomorrow at 8 ET
    • Previously: MetLife beats by $0.03, misses on revenue (May 6)
    • MET -0.45% after hours
    | Wed, May 6, 4:41 PM | Comment!
  • Wed, May 6, 4:10 PM
    • MetLife (NYSE:MET): Q1 EPS of $1.44 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $17.04B (-0.5% Y/Y) misses by $490M.
    • Press Release
    | Wed, May 6, 4:10 PM | Comment!
Company Description
MetLife Inc is a provider of insurance, annuities & employee benefit programs in United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe & Middle East. It offers life insurance, annuities, property & casualty insurance, and other financial services.
Sector: Financial
Industry: Life Insurance
Country: United States