Manulife Financial Co. (NYSE:MFC – Get Rating) (TSE:MFC) benefited from a sharp drop in short-term interest rates in March. As of March 31, there was short interest totaling 6,230,000 shares, a decline of 49.1% from the March 15 total of 12,230,000 shares. About 0.3% of the stock’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 4,410,000 shares, the short interest rate is currently 1.4 days.
NYSE:MFC shares were flat at $21.36 in Friday’s midday session. The stock recorded a trading volume of 2,598,914 shares, compared to an average volume of 3,662,015 shares. Manulife Financial has a 1-year low of $17.66 and a 1-year high of $22.22. The company has a market capitalization of $41.20 billion, a PE ratio of 7.52, a growth price-earnings ratio of 0.77 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a 50-day moving average of $20.74 and a two-hundred-day moving average of $20.03.
Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC – Get Rating) (TSE:MFC) last released its quarterly results on Wednesday, February 9. The financial services provider reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.67 for the quarter, beating Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $17.14 billion in the quarter. In the same quarter of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $0.57. On average, analysts expect Manulife Financial to post earnings per share of 2.78 for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 21. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 23 received a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, February 22. This is a positive change from Manulife Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. This represents an annualized dividend of $1.04 and a yield of 4.87%. Manulife Financial’s payout ratio is currently 36.62%.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MFC. PSI Advisors LLC bought a new position in Manulife Financial during the third quarter worth approximately $29,000. Widmann Financial Services Inc. bought a new position in Manulife Financial during the fourth quarter worth approximately $33,000. Allegheny Financial Group LTD bought a new position in Manulife Financial during the fourth quarter worth approximately $34,000. Addison Advisors LLC bought a new position in Manulife Financial during the fourth quarter worth approximately $35,000. Finally, Sargent Bickham Lagudis LLC increased its stake in Manulife Financial by 41.0% during the third quarter. Sargent Bickham Lagudis LLC now owns 1,856 shares of the financial services provider worth $36,000 after acquiring an additional 540 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 46.53% of the company’s shares.
A number of equity research analysts have weighed in on MFC shares recently. BMO Capital Markets raised its price target on Manulife Financial from C$35.00 to C$37.00 in a Friday, February 11 report. Zacks Investment Research reiterated a “hold” rating on Manulife Financial shares in a Thursday, March 17 research report. StockNews.com downgraded Manulife Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Barclays launched coverage on Manulife Financial in a research report on Thursday, February 3. They issued an “overweight” rating and a price target of $36.00 on the stock. Finally, Scotiabank raised its price target on Manulife Financial from C$29.00 to C$30.00 in a Friday, February 11 research report. One analyst rated the security with a sell rating, six assigned a hold rating and four assigned a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat, Manulife Financial currently has a consensus quote of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.27.
About Manulife Financial (Get an evaluation)
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 the Corporate and Other segments. The Wealth and Asset Management Business segment provides mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, group retirement and savings products and institutional asset management services through agents and from company-affiliated broker-dealers, securities brokerage firms and financial advisers, pension plan consultants and banks.
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