Manulife Financial Corp (MFC) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $23.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Manulife outperformed the industry in a year’s time. Moreover, the company witnessed its 2017 and 2018 estimates moving north over the last 60 days. Manulife continues to witness new business volumes, particularly in Asia, and positive net flows in its wealth and asset management businesses. Deep reach in the Asian market and a growing asset management business would drive long-term earnings growth. The company remains on track to achieve more than $100 million in expense synergies. However, declining group benefit sales in Canada segment will weigh on results, volatile global equity markets coupled with low bond yields has largely affected the company’s capital position.”

MFC has been the subject of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Manulife Financial Corp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. ValuEngine cut shares of Manulife Financial Corp from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, September 18th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Manulife Financial Corp from $26.00 to $27.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $24.50.

Shares of Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE MFC) traded up 0.34% on Tuesday, reaching $20.71. 762,411 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company’s 50-day moving average is $19.98 and its 200-day moving average is $18.82. Manulife Financial Corp has a 52 week low of $14.15 and a 52 week high of $20.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $40.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.74 and a beta of 1.29.

Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.42 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $12.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $16.09 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.40 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Manulife Financial Corp will post $1.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 19th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 22nd were paid a $0.1621 dividend. This is a boost from Manulife Financial Corp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 18th. This represents a $0.65 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.14%. Manulife Financial Corp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.83%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Manulife Financial Corp in the 2nd quarter valued at $103,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its stake in shares of Manulife Financial Corp by 17.5% in the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 6,768 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 1,010 shares in the last quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co acquired a new position in shares of Manulife Financial Corp in the 2nd quarter valued at $234,000. Sadoff Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Manulife Financial Corp in the 2nd quarter valued at $188,000. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. raised its stake in shares of Manulife Financial Corp by 25.7% in the 2nd quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 10,284 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 2,103 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 45.96% of the company’s stock.

Manulife Financial Corp Company Profile

Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) is a holding company of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (MLI), which is a life insurance company, and John Hancock Reassurance Company Ltd. (JHRECO), which is a reinsurance company. The Company operates as a financial services company with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States.

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Analyst Recommendations for Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC)

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