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Manulife Financial Co. (NYSE:MFC) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Last updated on Saturday, November 21, 2020 | 2020 MarketBeat

Manulife Financial Co. (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) saw a large growth in short interest in October. As of October 30th, there was short interest totalling 7,450,000 shares, a growth of 17.9% from the October 15th total of 6,320,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 2,090,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.6 days. Currently, 0.4% of the shares of the company are short sold.

NYSE:MFC traded down $0.01 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $16.44. 8,979,130 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,940,534. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $14.69 and a 200-day simple moving average of $13.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $31.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.26, a P/E/G ratio of 0.71 and a beta of 1.29. Manulife Financial has a 1 year low of $8.62 and a 1 year high of $21.23.

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 16th. The financial services provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts' consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.03. Manulife Financial had a return on equity of 11.48% and a net margin of 4.91%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.76 EPS. Sell-side analysts expect that Manulife Financial will post 1.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 21st. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 23rd will be paid a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 20th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.11%. Manulife Financial's dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 37.50%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in shares of Manulife Financial by 34.3% in the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 49,715 shares of the financial services provider's stock valued at $677,000 after purchasing an additional 12,696 shares during the last quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Manulife Financial by 31.5% in the 3rd quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC now owns 23,400 shares of the financial services provider's stock valued at $325,000 after buying an additional 5,600 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Manulife Financial by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 399,087 shares of the financial services provider's stock valued at $5,551,000 after buying an additional 4,709 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Manulife Financial by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 121,121 shares of the financial services provider's stock valued at $1,650,000 after buying an additional 4,066 shares during the period. Finally, Marshall Wace North America L.P. lifted its holdings in shares of Manulife Financial by 7,946.0% in the 2nd quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 289,657 shares of the financial services provider's stock valued at $3,929,000 after buying an additional 286,057 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 47.31% of the company's stock.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Manulife Financial from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating and set a $15.00 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, October 20th. TheStreet upgraded Manulife Financial from a "c+" rating to a "b" rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 10th. Scotiabank downgraded Manulife Financial from a "sector outperform" rating to a "sector perform" rating in a research report on Friday, November 13th. Eight Capital reiterated a "buy" rating and set a $25.00 target price on shares of Manulife Financial in a research report on Friday, September 4th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on Manulife Financial from $21.00 to $23.00 and gave the company an "outperform" rating in a report on Friday, August 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company's stock. Manulife Financial presently has a consensus rating of "Hold" and an average target price of $22.14.

About Manulife Financial

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, the United States, and internationally. The company offers individual life, and individual and group long-term care insurance; and guaranteed and partially guaranteed annuity products through insurance agents, brokers, banks, financial planners, and direct marketing.

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