Manulife Financial Corp. (NYSE:MFC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Manulife Financial’s core earnings in the third quarter improved on core investment gains, in-force and new business growth in Asia as well as improved policyholder experience. However, higher interest expenses due to debt issuances were partial dampeners. 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.”

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Bank of America Corp. initiated coverage on Manulife Financial Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, August 24th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Scotiabank reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $19.00 target price (down previously from $20.00) on shares of Manulife Financial Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Dundee Securities assumed coverage on Manulife Financial Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, September 21st. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Manulife Financial Corp. in a research report on Monday. Finally, CIBC downgraded Manulife Financial Corp. from a “sector outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $22.38.

Analyst Recommendations for Manulife Financial Corp. (NYSE:MFC)

Manulife Financial Corp. (NYSE:MFC) opened at 17.08 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $35.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.97 and a beta of 1.51. Manulife Financial Corp. has a 12 month low of $10.99 and a 12 month high of $17.11. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $14.52 and its 200 day moving average price is $14.05.

Manulife Financial Corp. (NYSE:MFC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 10th. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.15. Manulife Financial Corp. had a return on equity of 9.05% and a net margin of 4.63%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.43 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Manulife Financial Corp. will post $1.35 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 19th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 22nd will be issued a $0.138 dividend. This represents a $0.55 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.23%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 18th. Manulife Financial Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is 50.89%.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Capital One National Association bought a new stake in shares of Manulife Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth $140,000. Davis Rea LTD. bought a new stake in shares of Manulife Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth $142,000. Zweig DiMenna Associates LLC bought a new stake in shares of Manulife Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth $144,000. Sei Investments Co. increased its stake 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 worth $144,000 after buying an additional 632 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Glenmede Trust Co. NA increased its stake 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 worth $156,000 after buying an additional 876 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 48.77% of the company’s stock.

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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