Credit Suisse Starts MetLife (MET) at Neutral
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Credit Suisse initiates coverage on MetLife (NYSE: MET) with a Neutral rating and a price target of $51.00.
Analyst John Nadel commented, "Among names in our coverage, MET is one of the few with near-term, non-macro driven catalysts, including: 1) the separation of a portion of its U.S. Retail operations (to be called “Brighthouse Financial”); 2) its court case challenging the Fed’s designation of MET as a non-bank systemically important financial institution (“SIFI”); and 3) the likelihood that Brighthouse regulatory filings allow MET to return to the market to repurchase shares post quiet periods. In addition, we think MET’s recently announced $1b expense initiative has been overlooked by most investors given the large 2Q16 GAAP charge driven by the VA business and could result in meaningful value for “Remain Co”. Separation details indicate MET should have incremental $2-3b of capital flexibility in conjunction with the Brighthouse spin in 1H17, which serves to solidify our confidence in $2b of buybacks annually in 2017/18."
Shares of MetLife closed at $47.15 yesterday.
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