BTIG Downgrades ING U.S (VOYA) to Neutral

January 9, 2014 8:23 AM EST Send to a Friend
Get Alerts VOYA Hot Sheet
Price: $43.65 --0%

Rating Summary:
    9 Buy, 7 Hold, 1 Sell

Rating Trend: = Flat

Today's Overall Ratings:
    Up: 3 | Down: 8 | New: 0
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BTIG downgraded ING U.S (NYSE: VOYA) from Buy to Neutral and removed its price target (prior $37.00).

Analyst Mark Palmer said, "Our view that improved performance in VOYA's closed block variable annuity (CBVA) unit would drive stock appreciation has been validated, as the shares now trade at 0.89x 3Q13 book value excluding AOCI of $41.49, which is more in line with the valuation of peers such as Hartford Financial.

"We appreciate the boost that VOYA potentially stands to benefit from higher interest rates that serve as a tonic to its CBVA unit insofar as they position it to improve its investment returns while reducing its hedging costs," he added. "However, the likelihood of potential equity offerings from ING, which still owns 57% of VOYA, has become greater as its share price has risen. As part of an agreement with the European Commission stemming from its receipt of state aid from the Dutch government during the financial crisis, ING must reduce its stake in the company to 50% by YE14 and to fully divest its ownership by YE16."

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on ING U.S click here. For more ratings news on ING U.S click here.

Shares of ING U.S closed at $37.03 yesterday.

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