Business Wire 16-Jan-2020 10:26 AM
AM Best has assigned a Long-Term Issue Credit Rating of "bbb" to the $1 billion issuance of 4.75% non-cumulative preferred stock, Series F recently issued by MetLife, Inc. (MetLife) (headquartered in New York, NY) (NYSE:MET). The outlook assigned to the Credit Rating (rating) is stable.
Proceeds from the sale of the preferred shares issued as depositary shares will be utilized for general corporate purposes, which may include the repurchase of outstanding preferred stock. The Series F fixed rate preferred shares are perpetual, but the dividends are not cumulative or mandatory. The preferred shares are redeemable, in whole or in part, on or after March 15, 2025. The preferred shares also are redeemable, in whole but not in part, at any time prior to March 15, 2025, within 90 days after the occurrence of a rating agency event or regulatory capital event.
AM Best notes that MetLife's pro forma financial leverage is in the 25% range and is expected to remain level in the medium term. Additionally, MetLife's financial flexibility remains strong with interest coverage in line with AM Best's expectations.
MetLife's ratings recognize its diverse business mix, generally favorable operating results, strong franchise, considerable scale and prominent market position. MetLife continues to generate consistent revenue and cash flows, and has reported growth in operating earnings across the majority of its core segments.
Overall operating results were strong during 2019 reflecting lower volatility of returns, expense efficiencies and double-digit GAAP returns on equity. The company's ratings were affirmed in November 2019.
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