Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC): Insiders Smell A Bargain?

Manulife Financial Corporation (NYSE:MFC) has been upgraded by CIBC, which now rates the stock as Sector Outperform versus Neutral prior rating , according to a note issued on May 03. Analysts at TD Securities, shed their negative views on April 12 by lifting it fromHold to Buy. The stock won favor of National Bank Financial analysts who expressed their confidence in it using an upgrade from Sector Perform to Outperform on January 24. BofA/Merrill, released new analyst coverage on August 24, calling the stock is Buy.

Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) hit an intraday high Thursday at $15.83. The shares finished at $15.5, after trading as low as $15.32 earlier in the session. It dropped -3.97% in recent trade and currently has a stock-market value of $30.75B. Trading activity significantly improved as the volume at ready counter increased to 3,118,337 shares versus 1,997,355 in average daily trading volume over the past 20 days. So far this year, the volume has averaged about 2,489,917 shares. The stock is now 3.4% above against its bear-market low of $14.99 on October 29, 2018. It has retreated -42.97% since it’s 52-week high of $22.16 reached in January. Now the market price is down -26.26% on the year and down -25.7% YTD.

MFC’s 50 day simple moving average (SMA 50) price is $16.44 and its 200-day simple moving average (SMA 200) price is $18.04. The company’s stock currently has a total float of 1.98B shares. Its weekly volatility is hovering around 2.75% and felt 2.35% volatility in price over a month. On the upside, the share price will test short term resistance at around $15.78. On a downside, the stock is likely to find some support, which begins at $15.27. The failure to get near-term support could push it to $15.04.

Wall Street’s most bullish Manulife Financial Corporation (NYSE:MFC) analysts are predicting the share price to blow past $29.75 per share during the next 12 months. The current median share price forecast by them is $21.37, suggesting that the stock could increase 37.87% in that time frame. The average price target of $21.8 calls for a nearly 40.65% increase in the stock price.

When looking at valuations, Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) has a cheap P/E of 14.1x as compared to industry average of 14.22x. Moreover, it trades for 5.37 times the next 12 months of expected earnings. Also, it is trading at rather expensive levels at just over 1.01x price/book and 0.87x price/sales. Compared to others, Manulife Financial Corporation is in a different league with regards to profitability, having net margins of 5.2%. To put some perspective around this, the industry’s average net margin is 5.32%. MFC’s ROE is 6.2%, which is also considerably better than the industry’s ROE of 4.87%.

Shares of Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) have dropped -1.3% since the company’s last earnings report. Over the past 12 fiscal quarters, Manulife Financial Corporation (NYSE:MFC) has topped consensus earnings estimates in 9 quarters (75%), missed earnings in 2 quarters (16%), whereas at 1 occasion EPS met analyst expectations. MFC last reported earnings on November 07, 2018 when it released Sep-18 results that exceeded expectations. The company raked in $0.75 per share, -93.72% change on the same period last year. That was better than consensus for $0.67. Revenue for the recent quarter stood at $16.25 billion, up 368% on last year and below the $16.28 billion predicted by analysts. For this quarter, Wall Street analysts forecast revenue in a range of $42.99 billion to $43.55 billion, which should be compared with $51.18 billion generated last year. EPS is seen in a range of $2.73 to $2.79, against the $2.48 reported a year ago.