Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.

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.”

SLF has been the subject of several other research reports. Royal Bank Of Canada raised shares of Sun Life Financial from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $51.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, June 7th. BidaskClub raised shares of Sun Life Financial from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, July 8th. ValuEngine raised shares of Sun Life Financial from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. TD Securities upped their price target on shares of Sun Life Financial from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation raised shares of Sun Life Financial from an underperform rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $45.80.

Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) opened at 38.89 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $23.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.59 and a beta of 0.86. Sun Life Financial has a 52-week low of $31.42 and a 52-week high of $40.57. The company’s 50 day moving average is $38.43 and its 200 day moving average is $36.17.

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

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Sun Life Financial announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, August 9th that allows the company to repurchase 11,500,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 30th will be given a $0.3439 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 28th. This represents a $1.38 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.54%. This is a positive change from Sun Life Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. Sun Life Financial’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.85%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its position in shares of Sun Life Financial by 0.7% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 5,338 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $191,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Sun Life Financial by 3.4% in the second quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 1,677,941 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $59,926,000 after purchasing an additional 54,456 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Sun Life Financial by 39.5% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 11,929 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $427,000 after purchasing an additional 3,377 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in shares of Sun Life Financial by 147.6% in the second 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 during the period. Finally, Gotham Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Sun Life Financial by 8.4% in the second quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 8,820 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $315,000 after purchasing an additional 683 shares during the period. 40.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Sun Life Financial

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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