Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued 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.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on SLF. ValuEngine downgraded Sun Life Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada raised Sun Life Financial from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $51.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, June 7th. BidaskClub raised Sun Life Financial from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, June 10th. Bank of America Corporation upgraded Sun Life Financial from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Finally, TD Securities increased their price objective on Sun Life Financial from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Sun Life Financial has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.80.

Shares of Sun Life Financial (NYSE SLF) traded up 1.25% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $38.89. 353,218 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $38.41 and a 200-day moving average price of $36.15. Sun Life Financial has a one year low of $31.42 and a one year high of $40.57. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.59 and a beta of 0.86.

Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.09. Sun Life Financial had a return on equity of 13.29% and a net margin of 12.48%. The business had revenue of $8.12 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.36 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.90 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 14.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Sun Life Financial will post $3.34 EPS for the current year.

Sun Life Financial declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, August 9th that permits the company to buyback 11,500,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. increased its position in shares of Sun Life Financial by 50.7% in the second quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 9,170,839 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $327,474,000 after purchasing an additional 3,083,485 shares during the period. Citadel Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Sun Life Financial by 309.0% in the second quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 1,862,148 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $66,576,000 after purchasing an additional 1,406,898 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Sun Life Financial by 686.8% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,429,171 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $52,038,000 after purchasing an additional 1,247,534 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its position in shares of Sun Life Financial by 1,847.8% in the second quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 888,194 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $31,706,000 after purchasing an additional 842,594 shares during the period. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group increased its position in shares of Sun Life Financial by 1,345.0% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 659,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $30,401,000 after purchasing an additional 613,674 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 40.90% of the company’s stock.

About Sun Life Financial

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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