Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) to Hold

Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Sun Life Financial outperformed industry, quarter to date. The company also witnessed estimates moving north over the last 60 days. Aggressive re-designing of products, improved pricing, and focus on segments with higher growth and return complemented by market factor of reduced interest rate and market risk bode well. A strong balance sheet and effective capital deployment in growth initiatives will fuel earning, ROE and enhance shareholders’ value. The company continues to forge ahead with its digital and wealth initiatives in Canada, strong sales momentum in Asia, the scaling and integration of its U.S. operations, and strong long-term investment performance in asset management businesses. It targets medium-term EPS growth between 8% and 10%. However, exposure to macro headwinds, regulatory uncertainties and low rates are headwinds.”

Several other research firms have also issued reports on SLF. BidaskClub raised Sun Life Financial from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. TD Securities increased their target price on Sun Life Financial from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. Bank of America Corporation raised Sun Life Financial from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 10th. ValuEngine raised Sun Life Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada raised Sun Life Financial from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $51.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, June 7th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Sun Life Financial has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.80.

Shares of Sun Life Financial (SLF) opened at 38.88 on Tuesday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $38.43 and a 200 day moving average price of $36.17. Sun Life Financial has a 12-month low of $31.42 and a 12-month high of $40.57. The company has a market capitalization of $23.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.59 and a beta of 0.86.

Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.09. Sun Life Financial had a return on equity of 13.29% and a net margin of 12.48%. The firm had revenue of $8.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.36 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.90 EPS. Sun Life Financial’s revenue was down 14.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Sun Life Financial will post $3.34 EPS for the current year.

Sun Life Financial announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, August 9th that authorizes the company to repurchase 11,500,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Jones Collombin Investment Counsel Inc raised its position in Sun Life Financial by 20.2% in the 2nd quarter. Jones Collombin Investment Counsel Inc now owns 2,826 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its position in Sun Life Financial by 24.8% in the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 4,475 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $160,000 after purchasing an additional 888 shares in the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new stake in Sun Life Financial in the 2nd quarter valued at about $162,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its position in Sun Life Financial by 147.6% in the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,628 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $168,000 after purchasing an additional 2,163 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisory Services Network LLC raised its position in Sun Life Financial by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 5,338 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $191,000 after purchasing an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. 40.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Sun Life Financial Company Profile

Sun Life Financial Inc is the holding company of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. The Company is a financial services company providing a range of insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individuals and corporate Clients. It operates through five segments. The Sun Life Financial Canada segment provides retail insurance and investment advice, products and services to people across Canada.

Analyst Recommendations for Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF)

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