Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Manulife Financial Corp (MFC) to Hold

Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “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. Shares of Manulife underperformed the industry in a year’s time. Moreover, the company witnessed its third quarter estimates moving down ahead of earnings release. The company is set to report third quarter results on Nov 8. A Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of earnings surprise, when combined with Earnings ESP of -2.97% makes prediction difficult for conclusive beat.”

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on MFC. Morgan Stanley raised their target price 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. ValuEngine lowered shares of Manulife Financial Corp from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 18th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Manulife Financial Corp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $24.50.

Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE MFC) traded up $0.13 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $20.83. 2,470,575 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,696,074. The firm has a market capitalization of $41,203.49, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 1.32.

Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.41 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $12.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $16.09 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.40 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Manulife Financial Corp will post 1.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Manulife Financial Corp in the 2nd quarter valued at $103,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its holdings in 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 purchasing an additional 1,010 shares during the period. Sadoff Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in Manulife Financial Corp in the 2nd quarter valued at $188,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. boosted its holdings in 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 purchasing an additional 2,103 shares during the period. Finally, YHB Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Manulife Financial Corp in the 2nd quarter valued at $202,000. 46.12% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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