Manulife Financial (MFC) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $19.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Manulife Financial’s third-quarter 2018 earnings improved year over year on double-digit core earnings growth across Asia and the United States plus a strong uptick in Global Wealth and Asset Management segments and also owing to solid net income. Year to date, shares of Manulife have outperformed its industry’s decline as the stock’s loss was narrower. The life insurer continues to witness new business volumes, particularly in Asia and positive net flows in its wealth and asset management businesses, boosting long-term earnings growth. The company is hell bent on optimizing its portfolio with an objective to release $5 billion in capital by 2022. It is also targeting an expense efficiency ratio of less than 50% or $1 billion in expense savings by 2022. However, the company’s declining group benefit sales in Canada segment will weigh on its results.”

MFC has been the topic of several other research reports. ValuEngine raised Manulife Financial from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Scotiabank reissued an average rating and set a $28.00 price objective on shares of Manulife Financial in a report on Tuesday, November 13th. TD Securities reissued a buy rating on shares of Manulife Financial in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating on shares of Manulife Financial in a report on Friday, November 9th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Manulife Financial from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a report on Monday, October 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Manulife Financial has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $24.33.

Shares of MFC opened at $16.19 on Monday. Manulife Financial has a 52-week low of $14.99 and a 52-week high of $22.16. The firm has a market capitalization of $31.72 billion, a PE ratio of 9.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.77 and a beta of 1.31.

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The financial services provider reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.25. Manulife Financial had a return on equity of 13.70% and a net margin of 5.49%. The company had revenue of $6.15 billion for the quarter. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.53 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Manulife Financial will post 2.08 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 19th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.19 per share. This is an increase from Manulife Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 19th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.69%. Manulife Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 44.44%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. acquired a new position in Manulife Financial during the 3rd quarter worth about $121,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Manulife Financial during the 3rd quarter worth about $149,000. Truvestments Capital LLC acquired a new position in Manulife Financial during the 3rd quarter worth about $149,000. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp lifted its holdings in Manulife Financial by 61.0% during the 2nd quarter. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp now owns 8,343 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 3,160 shares during the period. Finally, ProVise Management Group LLC acquired a new position in Manulife Financial during the 2nd quarter worth about $191,000. 46.02% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Manulife Financial Company Profile

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups, and institutions in Asia, Canada, and the United States. The company offers individual life, and individual and group long-term care insurance through insurance agents, brokers, banks, financial planners, and direct marketing.

See Also: Trading Strategy Methods for Individual Investors

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Manulife Financial (MFC)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC)

Receive News & Ratings for Manulife Financial Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Manulife Financial and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.

Leave a Reply