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    MFC   CA56501R1064

MANULIFE FINANCIAL CORPORATION

(MFC)
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Delayed Toronto Stock Exchange  -  04:15 2022-06-24 pm EDT
21.92 CAD   +2.29%
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Manulife shares drop to 16-month low, insurers warn about ongoing COVID impacts

05/12/2022 | 12:26pm EDT

TORONTO, May 12 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp shares fell to their lowest level since January 2021 after the company's first-quarter core earnings declined due to lower sales and new business disruptions in Asia as COVID-19 infections rose in some parts of the region.

Both Manulife, and rival Sun Life, which also reported a drop in underlying profit driven by higher U.S. claims from the pandemic as well as lower sales in Hong Kong, said they expect the impacts of COVID-19 to linger.

Manulife missed analysts' estimates, while Sun Life beat expectations.

Manulife shares dropped 9.4% to C$22.06, their lowest intraday level since December 2020. Sun Life shares fell 2.4% to C$61.20. The broader Toronto stocks benchmark lost 0.8%.

The resurgence seen in the first quarter, most notably in Hong Kong, was "temporary in nature... but it's not necessarily true that we'll see an immediate bounce back in one quarter," Roy Gori, Chief Executive of Manulife, Canada's biggest life insurer, said on an analyst call.

Gori said the company still believes the "Asia opportunity is undeniable," and reiterated the company's goal of achieving half of core earnings from the region by 2025.

CIBC analysts said in a note that persistent growth challenges in Asia mean the company could miss analysts' expectations for the fiscal year.

Sun Life, Canada's second-biggest life insurer, is seeing "significant" improvement in U.S. death claims, Daniel Fishbein, president of its U.S. insurance business, said on its analyst call. But "we don't think that COVID is going away completely, and we do think there will be elevated mortality for a significant period of time."

The insurers also noted challenges from market volatility and the impact of inflation on expenses, but said the benefits from higher interest rates would help offset some of this. (Reporting By Nichola Saminather; Editing by Nick Macfie and Chris Reese)


© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
GREECE ATHEX COMPOSITE -0.17% 834.83 Delayed Quote.-6.39%
MANULIFE FINANCIAL CORPORATION 2.29% 21.92 Delayed Quote.-10.08%
SUN LIFE FINANCIAL INC. 2.00% 59.05 Delayed Quote.-17.78%
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Financials
Sales 2022 69 538 M 53 834 M 53 834 M
Net income 2022 7 575 M 5 864 M 5 864 M
Net Debt 2022 - - -
P/E ratio 2022 5,64x
Yield 2022 6,00%
Capitalization 42 050 M 32 554 M 32 554 M
Capi. / Sales 2022 0,60x
Capi. / Sales 2023 0,55x
Nbr of Employees 38 000
Free-Float 100,0%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 14
Last Close Price 21,92 CAD
Average target price 27,36 CAD
Spread / Average Target 24,8%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Roy Gori President, CEO & Non-Independent Director
Philip Witherington Executive Vice President & General Manager
John M. Cassaday Chairman
Shamus Edward Weiland Chief Information Officer
Rahul M. Joshi Chief Operations Officer
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