Manulife Financial Corp (MFC) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning. They currently have $21.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Manulife Financial has gained 26.17% over the last three months, outperforming the Zacks categorized Life Insurance industry’s growth of 14.47%. The company continues to witness new business volumes, particularly in Asia, and positive net flows in its wealth and asset management businesses. Manulife remains focused on improving earnings in the second half of the year and aims minimum C$4 billion in core earnings in 2016. Deep reach in the Asian market and a growing asset management business would drive long-term earnings growth. It also holds a significant market in Canada and the Standard Life Overseas Holdings takeover broadened its share in the region. However, recent volatile global equity markets coupled with low bond yields has largely affected the company’s capital position.”

MFC has been the subject of several other reports. Dundee Securities initiated coverage on shares of Manulife Financial Corp in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. They set a buy rating for the company. Scotiabank restated an outperform rating and issued a $22.00 price objective (up from $19.00) on shares of Manulife Financial Corp in a report on Tuesday, November 8th. RBC Capital Markets restated an outperform rating and issued a $26.00 price objective (up from $21.00) on shares of Manulife Financial Corp in a report on Friday, November 11th. Credit Suisse Group restated an outperform rating on shares of Manulife Financial Corp in a report on Monday, November 14th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a buy rating on shares of Manulife Financial Corp in a report on Friday, November 11th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Manulife Financial Corp has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $22.22.

Shares of Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) traded up 1.35% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $18.82. The stock had a trading volume of 2,057,132 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $18.01 and its 200 day moving average price is $15.03. Manulife Financial Corp has a 1-year low of $10.99 and a 1-year high of $19.04. The company has a market cap of $37.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.49 and a beta of 1.55.

Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 10th. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.15. Manulife Financial Corp had a net margin of 4.63% and a return on equity of 9.05%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.43 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Manulife Financial Corp will post $1.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 19th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 22nd were given a dividend of $0.138 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 18th. This represents a $0.55 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.97%. Manulife Financial Corp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 49.11%.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Davis Rea LTD. acquired a new position in shares of Manulife Financial Corp during the second quarter valued at $142,000. Sei Investments Co. boosted its position in shares of Manulife Financial Corp by 6.4% in the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 10,532 shares of the company’s stock valued at $144,000 after buying an additional 632 shares during the last quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA boosted its position in shares of Manulife Financial Corp by 8.3% in the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 11,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $156,000 after buying an additional 876 shares during the last quarter. HBK Sorce Advisory LLC boosted its position in shares of Manulife Financial Corp by 10.1% in the third quarter. HBK Sorce Advisory LLC now owns 12,286 shares of the company’s stock valued at $173,000 after buying an additional 1,132 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new position in shares of Manulife Financial Corp during the third quarter valued at $176,000. 48.49% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Manulife Financial Corp Company Profile

Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) is a life insurance company. The Company is a holding company of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (MLI), a Canadian life insurance company, and John Hancock Reassurance Company Ltd. (JHRECO), a Bermuda reinsurance company. The Company’s segments, including Asia Division, Canadian Division, U.S.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MFC

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