Unum Group (UNM) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday. The firm presently has a $63.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 7.53% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Unum Group have outperformed industry in a year. The company’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 an 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. Given wide acceptance of the Unum Dental group insurance plans, Unum Dental plans is available across the country A sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. Unum expects 2017 operating earnings to grow at or slightly above 5-8% range. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting the Unum U.K. results.”

UNM has been the subject of a number of other reports. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Unum Group from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price target on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. They set a “sell” rating and a $48.00 price target for the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price target on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, B. Riley raised shares of Unum Group from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $43.00 to $52.00 in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Unum Group presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.00.

Shares of Unum Group (UNM) opened at $58.59 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $13,146.95, a P/E ratio of 14.08, a P/E/G ratio of 1.75 and a beta of 1.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 0.17 and a quick ratio of 0.17. Unum Group has a 12 month low of $43.55 and a 12 month high of $58.73.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.09 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.04 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.82 billion. Unum Group had a net margin of 8.67% and a return on equity of 10.37%. Unum Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.01 EPS. analysts anticipate that Unum Group will post 4.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Unum Group news, EVP Lisa G. Iglesias sold 8,459 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.83, for a total transaction of $463,806.97. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Timothy Gerald Arnold sold 1,000 shares of Unum Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.07, for a total transaction of $55,070.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 21,122 shares of company stock valued at $1,136,688 over the last three months. 0.53% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. increased its holdings in shares of Unum Group by 418.8% during the 4th quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. now owns 45,905 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,520,000 after purchasing an additional 37,057 shares in the last quarter. DnB Asset Management AS increased its holdings in shares of Unum Group by 14.4% during the 4th quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 23,880 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,311,000 after purchasing an additional 3,000 shares in the last quarter. Aurora Investment Counsel purchased a new position in shares of Unum Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $1,963,000. Pensionfund Sabic purchased a new position in shares of Unum Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $1,592,000. Finally, Pensionfund DSM Netherlands purchased a new position in shares of Unum Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $3,129,000. 91.52% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Unum Group

Unum Group is a provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company’s products include disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision, and other related services. Its segments include Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate.

Analyst Recommendations for Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)

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