Manulife Financial Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (MFC)

Manulife Financial Co. (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) saw unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Traders acquired 782 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,348% compared to the average daily volume of 54 put options.

Shares of MFC traded down $0.56 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $16.88. 9,461,052 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,381,337. The company has a market cap of $35.48 billion, a PE ratio of 9.87, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.88 and a beta of 1.29. Manulife Financial has a 12 month low of $16.68 and a 12 month high of $22.16.

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The financial services provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.21. The firm had revenue of $10.59 billion during the quarter. Manulife Financial had a return on equity of 12.69% and a net margin of 4.22%. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.57 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Manulife Financial will post 2.03 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 19th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 21st were issued a dividend of $0.169 per share. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.00%. This is a boost from Manulife Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 20th. Manulife Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 39.77%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Adviser Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of Manulife Financial during the 1st quarter valued at about $132,000. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp increased its stake in Manulife Financial by 61.0% in the 2nd quarter. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp now owns 8,343 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $150,000 after purchasing an additional 3,160 shares during the period. RMB Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Manulife Financial in the 1st quarter worth approximately $187,000. ProVise Management Group LLC purchased a new position in Manulife Financial in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $191,000. Finally, Sawtooth Solutions LLC purchased a new position in Manulife Financial in the 1st quarter worth approximately $202,000. 46.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Manulife Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 10th. ValuEngine downgraded Manulife Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, June 18th. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on Manulife Financial from $27.00 to $26.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 11th. Finally, Evercore ISI began coverage on Manulife Financial in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued an “in-line” rating for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Manulife Financial presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $25.67.

Manulife Financial Company Profile

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups, and institutions in Asia, Canada, and the United States. The company offers individual life, and individual and group long-term care insurance through insurance agents, brokers, banks, financial planners, and direct marketing.

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