Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Sun Life Financial outperformed industry, quarter to date. The company also witnessed estimates moving north over the last 60 days. 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. The company 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. It targets medium-term EPS growth between 8% and 10%. However, exposure to macro headwinds, regulatory uncertainties and low rates are headwinds.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Sun Life Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sun Life Financial from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Saturday, June 10th. Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Sun Life Financial from an underperform rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, July 10th. TD Securities boosted their target price on shares of Sun Life Financial from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded shares of Sun Life Financial from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $51.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 7th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $45.80.

Shares of Sun Life Financial (NYSE SLF) traded up 0.46% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $39.32. 279,197 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Sun Life Financial has a 12-month low of $31.42 and a 12-month high of $40.57. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.13 billion, a PE ratio of 11.38 and a beta of 0.86. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $38.43 and its 200-day moving average price is $36.17.

Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.83 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $8.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.36 billion. Sun Life Financial had a net margin of 12.48% and a return on equity of 13.29%. Sun Life Financial’s revenue was down 14.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.90 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Sun Life Financial will post $3.30 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 30th will be issued a $0.3439 dividend. This is a positive change from Sun Life Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. This represents a $1.38 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.50%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 28th. Sun Life Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.85%.

Sun Life Financial announced that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, August 9th that allows the company to buyback 11,500,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. TD Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Sun Life Financial by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 20,568,078 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $734,224,000 after buying an additional 351,938 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Sun Life Financial by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,668,290 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $488,642,000 after buying an additional 595,894 shares in the last quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. lifted its holdings in Sun Life Financial by 50.7% during the 2nd quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 9,170,839 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $327,474,000 after buying an additional 3,083,485 shares in the last quarter. Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. lifted its holdings in Sun Life Financial by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. now owns 7,921,162 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $282,764,000 after buying an additional 23,720 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Nova Scotia lifted its holdings in Sun Life Financial by 1.2% during the 1st quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 7,024,399 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $256,508,000 after buying an additional 81,565 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 40.90% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF)

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