Sep. 17, 2014, 3:16 PM
- Leading markets higher as the reality of higher interest rates gets nearer is the financial sector (XLF +0.9%). Whether its banks, brokerages, or insurers, a higher benchmark rate for some time has been considered a key bullish catalyst. An especially large move is being seen in the online brokerage names who have been forced to forego money market fees for years thanks to ZIRP: E*Trade (ETFC +3%), Schwab(SCHW +3.2%), Ameritrade (AMTD +2%).
- Morgan Stanley (MS +1.8%), Bank of America (BAC +1.2%), JPMorgan (JPM +0.9%)
- U.S. Bancorp (USB +1.1%), Regions Financial (RF +2%), New York Community Bank (NYCB +0.8%), Huntington Bancshares (HBAN +1.3%), KeyCorp (KEY +1.3%)
- MetLife (MET +0.6%), Voya Financial (VOYA +0.7%).
- Chubb(CB +0.4%), AIG (AIG +1.1%), Hartford (HIG +0.8%)
- Financial sector ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, KIE, IAT, SEF, IYG, IAK, FXO, KBWB, FNCL, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, KBWR, RWW, KBWP, RYF, KBWI, KRS, FINZ
Sep. 4, 2014, 4:28 PM
- "MetLife (NYSE:MET) strongly disagrees with the Financial Stability Oversight Council's preliminary designation of Metlife as a SIFI," says CEO Steven Kandarian. "MetLife is not systemically important under the Dodd-Frank Act criteria. In fact, MetLife has served as a source of financial strength and stability during times of economic distress, including the 2008 financial crisis."
- At the moment, the SIFI designation would impose capital rules designed for banks on the insurer.
- Met ins't ruling out any remedies available to it - for now, the company has 30 days to request a hearing before the FSOC to contest its designation.
- The SIFI determination can hardly be a surprise given Prudential has also been deemed such, and Met's shares are unchanged in fairly active after-hours action.
- Source: Press Release
Aug. 20, 2014, 2:51 PM
- The Financial Stability Oversight Council, reports the WSJ, has closed the books on the evidentiary record it has been compiling, and could reveal this as soon as tomorrow. Though no names will be named, it's no secret MetLife (MET +0.3%) and the FSOC have been talking about the insurer's possible systemically important designation for months.
Aug. 12, 2014, 9:42 AM
- The Loop is a 435K square foot outdoor retail center in Kissimmee, Florida, and MetLife (MET +0.4%) purchased the asset from an institutional client of AEW Capital Management. Terms were not disclosed. HFF (HF +0.1%) brokered the deal.
- MetLife is further diversifying its real estate equity holdings by adding a high quality retail outlet such as The Loop to our portfolio, says Robert Merck, the insurer's global head of real estate.
- Source: Press Release
Aug. 5, 2014, 2:54 PM
- The insurer "has an active primary regulator carefully monitoring the conditions of the firm," New York DFS boss Ben Lawsky tells the Financial Stability Oversight Council as that group prepares to likely slap a "systemically important" label on MetLife (MET -1.4%), subjecting it to another layer of federal oversight.
- "MetLife doesn't engage in any non-traditional, non-insurance activities," says Lawsky, and could be unwound in an orderly way should it run into trouble.
- Several members of Congress have also written to the FSOC urging the council to do more to hear MetLife's side of the story before reaching a final decision.
Jul. 31, 2014, 11:10 AM
- “We were cautious and remain cautious in terms of the capital management because of the uncertainty,” says MetLife (MET -2.9%) CEO Steven Kandarian, on the earnings call. “Returning capital to shareholders is a high priority for us. We have to do that consistent with a regulatory environment in which we find ourselves, and as we learn more about that we’ll have more to say.”
- Met currently has in place a "modest" buyback to offset the dilution as part of the purchase of American Life Insurance from Hartford in 2010. Asked if the he could do buybacks beyond that, Kandarian says the insurer needs more guidance from D.C.
- Previously: MetLife slips after reporting light bottom line
- Among the items pressuring Q2 results were events in Russia, but EMEA chief Michel Khalaf reminds Met has been able to adjust expenses accordingly, so as long as the impact is short-term, it shouldn't hit the bottom line.
Jul. 30, 2014, 4:24 PM
- Q2 operating earnings of $1.6B unchanged from a year ago. Operating earnings per share of $1.39 down 3%.
- Americas operating earnings of $1.4B up 5% on revenues of $9.6B up 10%. Retail operating earnings of $652M up 12% thanks to strong markets, but Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits operating earnings of $205M down 25% thanks to unfavorable underwriting results in non-medical health.
- Asia operating earnings of $319M down 1% after adjusting for currency movement.
- EMEA operating earnings of $93M up 41% on a constant currency basis.
- Net investment income of $5.1B is unchanged.
- Book value per share excluding AOCI of $50.14 up from $47.20 a year ago.
- Conference call tomorrow at 8 ET
- MET -0.25% AH
- Previously: MetLife misses by $0.02, beats on revenue
Jul. 30, 2014, 4:11 PM
Jul. 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
- The joint venture between MetLife (MET -0.8%) and Norway's sovereign wealth fund purchased the Boston's One Beacon Street office building for about $561M. Met will own 52.5% of the tower, with Norges controlling the rest.
- The two began their partnership late last year, with Met looking for fee income by attracting institutional investors to a new asset-management unit.
- Press release
Jul. 22, 2014, 5:57 PM
- U.S. regulators are poised to label MetLife (NYSE:MET) "systematically important" and a potential threat to the financial system, subjecting the insurer to oversight by the Federal Reserve, Bloomberg reports.
- MET has been under consideration as systemically important for more than a year, and its executives have met more than 10 times with Financial Stability Oversight Council staff members to argue it doesn’t pose a risk.
- The report says a decision by the council may come as early as July 31, when the panel is tentatively planning to meet.
Jul. 10, 2014, 9:01 AM
- In partnership with Panattoni Development Company, MetLife (MET) will develop a new industrial distribution park on 183 acres, 25 miles from Atlanta. Lambert Farms Distribution Center will have up to 3M square feet of distribution space. The project is expected to take about 3 years and cost $110M.
- Positive on industrial markets in core cities, MetLife has plans with Panattoni for eight facilities in four states totaling nearly 6M square feet.
- Source: Press Release
Jul. 8, 2014, 7:25 AM
Jul. 7, 2014, 5:42 PM
Jun. 26, 2014, 10:04 AM
- The Combo and GrandProtect allow for the ability to combine auto and home coverages into one package in MetLife's (MET) mass-marketed insurance program. An internal survey shows 60% prefer one bill for their account, and 70% currently have auto and home coverage with the same company.
- Source: Press Release
Jun. 16, 2014, 9:39 AM
- "Better diversification, financial flexibility, market position and capital adequacy are the key drivers of the single notch difference between insurance peers MetLife (MET -0.5%) and Prudential Financial (PRU)," says Moody's in a new report.
- Met's domestic insurers are rated Aa3 and Prudential's A1 for insurance financial strength. MetLife's holding company is A3, and Prudential's Baa1.
- MetLife has a meaningful presence in more countries than Prudential, says Moody's, and its U.S. market share in group insurance "stands out compared to Prudential."
- Moody's also notes Prudential's aggressiveness with share repurchases - pleasing to stockholders, but a marginal negative for the agency's debt-focused customers.
Jun. 10, 2014, 2:38 PM
- Key commitments to deliver on by 2016: 1) Shift from market-sensitive products (variable annuities) to improve risk profile; 2) Grow emerging markets to 20% of operating earnings; 3) $1B in gross expense savings; 4) Increase operating ROE to 12-14%.
- Going through these, MetLife (MET +0.5%) CEO Kandarian notes VA sales were just $10.6B in 2013 vs. $28.4B in 2011, while GVWB sales rose to $1.3B from $1B; operating earnings growth from EM has been 11% compounded since 2011 and hit $894M last year; $1B in savings by year-end 2015 have been identified; and operating earnings have gained 16% annually since 2011. with operating ROE rising to 11.9% from 10%.
- Webcast and presentation slides
- Previously: Wait is over: MetLife announces $1B buyback
MET vs. ETF Alternatives
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.
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