Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE: MFC) and Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, valuation and earnings.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Manulife Financial Corp and Unum Group’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Manulife Financial Corp $32.65 billion 1.23 $4.97 billion $1.38 14.67
Unum Group $11.19 billion 1.04 $1.66 billion $4.15 12.42

Manulife Financial Corp has higher revenue and earnings than Unum Group. Unum Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Manulife Financial Corp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

46.0% of Manulife Financial Corp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.3% of Unum Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.5% of Unum Group shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Manulife Financial Corp has a beta of 1.29, meaning that its share price is 29% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Unum Group has a beta of 1.59, meaning that its share price is 59% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Manulife Financial Corp and Unum Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Manulife Financial Corp N/A 11.33% 0.62%
Unum Group 8.57% 10.23% 1.49%

Dividends

Manulife Financial Corp pays an annual dividend of $0.66 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Unum Group pays an annual dividend of $0.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Manulife Financial Corp pays out 47.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Unum Group pays out 22.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Manulife Financial Corp has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years and Unum Group has raised its dividend for 8 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Manulife Financial Corp and Unum Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Manulife Financial Corp 0 0 4 0 3.00
Unum Group 1 6 2 0 2.11

Manulife Financial Corp presently has a consensus price target of $24.00, indicating a potential upside of 18.58%. Unum Group has a consensus price target of $48.75, indicating a potential downside of 5.39%. Given Manulife Financial Corp’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Manulife Financial Corp is more favorable than Unum Group.

Summary

Unum Group beats Manulife Financial Corp on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Manulife Financial Corp

Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) is a holding company of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (MLI), which is a life insurance company, and John Hancock Reassurance Company Ltd. (JHRECO), which is a reinsurance company. The Company operates as a financial services company with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. The Company’s segments include Asia Division, Canadian Division, U.S. Division, and the Corporate and Other. The Company operates as Manulife in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. The product and service offerings under its Asia, Canadian and U.S. Divisions include Protection, Wealth and Asset Management, and Other Wealth. The Corporate and Other segment includes external asset management business, Property and Casualty (P&C) Reinsurance Business, and run-off reinsurance operations, including variable annuities, and accident and health.

About Unum Group

Unum Group is a provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company’s products include disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision, and other related services. Its segments include Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate. Its Unum US segment includes group long-term and short-term disability insurance, group life and accidental death and dismemberment products, and supplemental and voluntary lines of business. Its Unum UK segment includes insurance for group long-term disability, group life, and supplemental lines of business, which include dental, individual disability and critical illness products. Its Colonial Life segment includes insurance for accident, sickness, and disability products, life products, and cancer and critical illness products issued primarily by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company and marketed to employees. Its Closed Block segment consists of other insurance products.

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