Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $47.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective points to a potential upside of 11.85% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Unum Group outperformed the Zacks-categorized Accident & Health industry. Unum’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 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. Sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting Unum U.K. results. With respect to quarterly results, Unum’s third-quarter earnings per share beat expectations and improved year over year. Strong performances by Unum U.S. and Colonial Life were partially offset by underperformance of Unum U.K.”

UNM has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Credit Suisse Group AG began coverage on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Friday, October 7th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $42.00 target price for the company. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised their price objective on shares of Unum Group from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their price objective on shares of Unum Group from $36.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. Compass Point downgraded shares of Unum Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $42.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $43.00 price objective (up previously from $36.00) on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Unum Group presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.67.

Analyst Recommendations for Unum Group (NYSE:UNM)

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) opened at 42.02 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $38.20 and a 200-day moving average of $35.23. Unum Group has a 52 week low of $23.99 and a 52 week high of $43.47. The company has a market cap of $9.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.03 and a beta of 1.50.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.04. The business earned $2.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.74 billion. Unum Group had a net margin of 8.29% and a return on equity of 10.24%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.83 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Unum Group will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 18th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 31st were paid a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.90%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 27th. Unum Group’s payout ratio is 20.94%.

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In related news, EVP Christopher J. Jerome sold 8,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.49, for a total value of $331,920.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CFO John F. Mcgarry sold 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.44, for a total value of $497,280.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new stake in shares of Unum Group during the second quarter worth about $56,674,000. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Unum Group by 38.1% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 5,279,960 shares of the company’s stock worth $167,850,000 after buying an additional 1,455,618 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Unum Group by 4.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,424,545 shares of the company’s stock worth $712,877,000 after buying an additional 875,760 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Unum Group by 29.3% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,739,136 shares of the company’s stock worth $96,719,000 after buying an additional 619,895 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Unum Group by 1,397.3% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 647,599 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,587,000 after buying an additional 604,348 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.81% of the company’s stock.

About Unum Group

Unum Group is a provider of disability insurance products in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company provides a portfolio of other insurance products, including employer and employee paid group benefits, life insurance and other related services. Its segments are Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate.

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