2-Star Stocks Poised to Plunge: MetLife?

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 145,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, life insurer MetLife (NYSE: MET  ) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at MetLife's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

MetLife facts

Headquarters (Founded)

New York City (1868)

Market Cap

$28.4 billion

Industry

Life and health insurance

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$41 billion

Management

CEO Robert Henrikson (since 2006)

CFO William Wheeler (since 2003)

Trailing-12-Month Return on Equity

(8%)

Cash/Debt

$15.6 billion / $20.5 billion

Competitors

Prudential (NYSE: PRU  )

AIG (NYSE: AIG  )

CAPS Members Bearish on MET Also Bearish on

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  )

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  )

CAPS Members Bullish on MET Also Bullish on

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  )

Citigroup (NYSE: C  )

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's), Yahoo! Finance, and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 12% of the 704 members who have rated MetLife believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include adartmouth and All-Star jed71, who is ranked in the top 15% of our community.

Late last year, adartmouth described MetLife's mortgage exposure in a bearishly blunt fashion: "commercial property holders so holders of investment turds."

In a pitch from last week, jed71 voiced skepticism over the company's recent takeover bid:

I am going to go out on a limb here and put a hex, a pox and a dead chicken voodoo curse on the impending purchase of ALICO by [MetLife]. I have a feeling Met is going to majorly overpay for ALICO and will struggle mightily in integrating such a huge life insurance business. Life insurance is also a heavily commoditized product and will eventually lead to margin pressures for [MetLife], especially if they have to borrow big money to complete this purchase. ... [MetLife] should focus on raising their credit agency ratings, and strengthening their balance sheet before pursuing these types of M&A deals.

What do you think about MetLife, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to protect your portfolio from any undue risk. Staying away from dangerous stocks is crucial to securing your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to flag them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.


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