Zacks Investment Research Lowers Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) to Strong Sell

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFCGet Rating) (TSE:MFC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have a $15.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential downside of 14.68% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Margin contraction and unfavorable interest coverage ratio concerns Manulife. The global equity market remains volatile and weak, which put pressure on capital position forcing the company to raise its reserves for guaranteeing future liabilities. Shares have outperformed the industry in year to date. Its Asia business continues to be the major contributor to earnings. New business volumes and positive net flows in its wealth and asset management businesses are other catalysts. Manulife's inorganic growth also impresses. Manulife focuses to expedite growth in highest potential businesses and targets two-third of core earnings from these businesses. It completed 2022 portfolio optimization target of $5 billion of capital, aims expense efficiency ratio of less than 50% by 2022 and core EPS growth between 10-12% over the medium term.”

MFC has been the topic of a number of other reports. BMO Capital Markets lowered Manulife Financial from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 12th. StockNews.com cut Manulife Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 17th. TD Securities lowered their target price on Manulife Financial from C$37.00 to C$34.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 12th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their target price on Manulife Financial from C$29.00 to C$26.00 in a research note on Friday, May 13th. Finally, Scotiabank lowered their target price on Manulife Financial from C$28.00 to C$27.00 in a research note on Friday, May 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.90.

Shares of Manulife Financial stock traded up $0.03 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $17.58. 47,362 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,592,853. The stock has a market cap of $33.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 4.73, a PEG ratio of 0.68 and a beta of 1.22. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $20.04 and its 200-day moving average is $19.89. Manulife Financial has a 52 week low of $16.63 and a 52 week high of $22.19.

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFCGet Rating) (TSE:MFC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 11th. The financial services provider reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.66 by ($0.05). The company had revenue of $11.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.82 billion. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Manulife Financial will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its position in Manulife Financial by 9.1% during the 4th quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 2,254,585 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $43,032,000 after acquiring an additional 187,234 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in Manulife Financial by 0.4% during the 4th quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 12,213,095 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $232,904,000 after acquiring an additional 49,144 shares in the last quarter. Brinker Capital Investments LLC boosted its position in Manulife Financial by 12.3% during the 4th quarter. Brinker Capital Investments LLC now owns 11,825 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $226,000 after acquiring an additional 1,299 shares in the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. boosted its position in Manulife Financial by 3.2% during the 4th quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 64,854 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,238,000 after acquiring an additional 2,039 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lincluden Management Ltd. bought a new stake in Manulife Financial during the 4th quarter valued at $33,952,000. 47.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Manulife Financial Company Profile (Get Rating)

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial products and services in Asia, Canada, the United States, and internationally. The company operates through Wealth and Asset Management Businesses; Insurance and Annuity Products; And Corporate and Other segments. The Wealth and Asset Management Businesses segment provides mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, group retirement and savings products, and institutional asset management services through agents and brokers affiliated with the company, securities brokerage firms, and financial advisors pension plan consultants and banks.

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