Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

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 report sent to investors on Thursday, May 11th.

According to Zacks, “Sun Life’s underlying net income declined year over year on unfavorable mortality experience in SLF U.S. Shares of Sun Life Financial have underperformed the Zacks categorized Life Insurance industry, year to date. However, 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. It 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. The company 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 topic of a number of other reports. Credit Suisse Group cut Sun Life Financial from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 10th. Scotiabank cut Sun Life Financial from a sector outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a research note on Thursday, February 16th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada cut Sun Life Financial from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $53.00 to $51.00 in a research note on Friday, February 17th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $45.17.

Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) traded up 0.47% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $34.20. 498,299 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Sun Life Financial has a one year low of $30.38 and a one year high of $40.57. The stock has a market cap of $20.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.39 and a beta of 0.89. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $33.92 and a 200-day moving average of $36.78.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 30th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 31st will be paid a $0.3164 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 26th. This represents a $1.27 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.70%. Sun Life Financial’s payout ratio is 41.23%.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Sun Life Financial by 0.5% in the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,587 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Sun Life Financial by 2.9% in the third quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,600 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 102 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Sun Life Financial by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 9,589 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $368,000 after buying an additional 102 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp boosted its stake in shares of Sun Life Financial by 1.8% in the first quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 5,811 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $209,000 after buying an additional 102 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pegasus Partners Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Sun Life Financial by 0.6% in the first quarter. Pegasus Partners Ltd. now owns 36,754 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,343,000 after buying an additional 208 shares during the last quarter. 42.78% 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.

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