Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $20.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Manulife Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. It’s third-quarter 2019 core earnings of $1.1 billion (C$1.5 billion) remained unchanged year over year. This result can be attributed to double-digit core earnings growth in Asia, partially offset by an impact on earnings due to actions undertaken over the past year to boost the capital efficiency of legacy business along with lower new business volumes in Japan.  Manulife continues to witness new business volumes, particularly in Asia, and positive net flows in its wealth and asset management businesses. It is focused on optimizing its portfolio to release capital. Manulife is also targeting an expense efficiency ratio of less than 50% or $1 billion in expense savings by 2022, core EPS growth in the range of 10% to 12% over the medium term and return on equity of 13%.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on MFC. Canaccord Genuity boosted their target price on Manulife Financial from $32.00 to $33.00 in a research report on Monday, October 28th. ValuEngine raised Manulife Financial from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th.

Shares of Manulife Financial stock opened at $19.68 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $38.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.88 and a beta of 1.43. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $19.08 and a 200-day simple moving average of $17.99. Manulife Financial has a fifty-two week low of $13.33 and a fifty-two week high of $20.08.

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 6th. The financial services provider reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.21. The business had revenue of $17.14 billion during the quarter. Manulife Financial had a return on equity of 12.86% and a net margin of 6.45%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.75 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Manulife Financial will post 2.23 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 19th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 19th will be given a dividend of $0.19 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 18th. This is a positive change from Manulife Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.86%. Manulife Financial’s payout ratio is 36.02%.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cetera Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Manulife Financial by 2.7% during the second quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC now owns 24,977 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $454,000 after purchasing an additional 651 shares during the period. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC raised its position in Manulife Financial by 2.6% during the third quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 26,448 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $486,000 after buying an additional 658 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its position in Manulife Financial by 2.2% during the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 34,232 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $628,000 after buying an additional 737 shares during the period. Bartlett & Co. LLC raised its position in Manulife Financial by 1.7% during the third quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 47,635 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $875,000 after buying an additional 775 shares during the period. Finally, Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. raised its position in Manulife Financial by 72.7% during the second quarter. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. now owns 1,900 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $35,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. 46.70% 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; and guaranteed and partially guaranteed annuity products through insurance agents, brokers, banks, financial planners, and direct marketing.

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