Brighthouse Financial (BHF) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Brighthouse Financial (NASDAQ:BHF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Brighthouse Financial’s shares have outperformed its industry year to date. It is poised to benefit from growth opportunities offered by the largest individual insurance market in the world, given its expansive and compelling suite of life and annuity products and a strong market presence. Focus on exiting TSAs should lower costs. It is revamping the life insurance business to ramp up annuity sales. However, its first-quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $1.98 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.6% and also dropped 16.1% year over year. The quarter incurred establishment costs related to planned technology and branding expenses associated with the company's separation from its parent company. Nonetheless, it delivered robust annuity sales, prudent capital and expense management. However, increasing expenses could weigh on margin expansion. Higher leverage coupled with lower interest coverage raises concern.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on BHF. BidaskClub lowered shares of Brighthouse Financial from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. Deutsche Bank lowered shares of Brighthouse Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Brighthouse Financial in a report on Thursday, February 28th. Sandler O’Neill lowered shares of Brighthouse Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $43.00 to $42.00 in a report on Thursday, March 7th. Finally, Citigroup lowered shares of Brighthouse Financial from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $39.00 to $35.00 in a report on Thursday, April 4th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.18.

Shares of NASDAQ:BHF opened at $38.23 on Tuesday. Brighthouse Financial has a twelve month low of $28.52 and a twelve month high of $48.49. The company has a current ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. The company has a market capitalization of $4.43 billion, a PE ratio of 5.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.36 and a beta of 2.21.

Brighthouse Financial (NASDAQ:BHF) last released its earnings results on Monday, May 6th. The company reported $1.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.12 by ($0.14). The firm had revenue of $2.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.98 billion. Brighthouse Financial had a return on equity of 6.01% and a net margin of 2.49%. The company’s revenue was down 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.36 earnings per share. As a group, analysts expect that Brighthouse Financial will post 8.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director C Edward Chaplin acquired 2,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 13th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $36.50 per share, with a total value of $98,550.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 6,939 shares in the company, valued at approximately $253,273.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.01% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Pearl River Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Brighthouse Financial during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $26,000. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Brighthouse Financial by 68.3% during the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 865 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,000 after acquiring an additional 351 shares during the last quarter. Signaturefd LLC boosted its position in shares of Brighthouse Financial by 387.3% during the 1st quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 731 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,000 after acquiring an additional 581 shares during the last quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. boosted its position in shares of Brighthouse Financial by 162.8% during the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 954 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,000 after acquiring an additional 591 shares during the last quarter. Finally, B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund bought a new position in shares of Brighthouse Financial during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $32,000. 93.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Brighthouse Financial Company Profile

Brighthouse Financial, Inc provides annuity and life insurance products in the United States. It operates through three segments: Annuities, Life, and Run-off. The Annuities segment offers variable, fixed, index-linked, and income annuities for contract holders' needs for protected wealth accumulation on a tax-deferred basis, wealth transfer, and income security.

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