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FBR Capital Markets upgrades Prudential, cuts Metlife

FBR Capital Markets & Co. analyst Randy Binner downgraded MetLife Inc. to "neutral" from "buy" and upgraded Prudential Financial Inc. to "buy" from "neutral."

The catalysts that led Binner to upgrade MetLife too "buy" in May have "played out," he said. The company's shares have risen about 16% since, compared with a 5% gain for the S&P 500.

He lowered his price target for the company to $52 from $53. The analyst reduced the 2017 and 2018 EPS estimates to $4.25 from $4.35 and to $4.75 from $5.00, respectively.

The risk/reward profile of Prudential is more attractive, Binner wrote. The company's stock has been relatively flat since May and has more room to rise ahead of third-quarter earnings, he wrote.

The analyst increased his price target to $117 from $100. He raised the 2017 EPS estimate to $10.10 from $10.00 and kept the 2018 estimate unchanged at $11.10.