Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $23.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.00% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Manulife outperformed the industry in a year’s time. Moreover, the company witnessed its 2017 and 2018 estimates moving north over the last 60 days. Manulife continues to witness new business volumes, particularly in Asia, and positive net flows in its wealth and asset management businesses. Deep reach in the Asian market and a growing asset management business would drive long-term earnings growth. The company remains on track to achieve more than $100 million in expense synergies. However, declining group benefit sales in Canada segment will weigh on results, volatile global equity markets coupled with low bond yields has largely affected the company’s capital position.”

MFC has been the subject of several other research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Manulife Financial Corp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Manulife Financial Corp from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, September 18th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Manulife Financial Corp from $26.00 to $27.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $24.50.

Shares of Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) traded up 2.68% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $20.72. 2,358,377 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a 50-day moving average of $19.88 and a 200-day moving average of $18.77. Manulife Financial Corp has a 52 week low of $14.15 and a 52 week high of $20.84. The firm has a market cap of $40.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.75 and a beta of 1.29.

Manulife Financial Corp (NYSE:MFC) (TSE:MFC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $12.34 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $16.09 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.40 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Manulife Financial Corp will post $1.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in Manulife Financial Corp in the second quarter valued at $103,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. grew its position in Manulife Financial Corp by 17.5% in the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 6,768 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after purchasing an additional 1,010 shares in the last quarter. Sadoff Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Manulife Financial Corp in the second quarter valued at $188,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its position in Manulife Financial Corp by 25.7% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 10,284 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $193,000 after purchasing an additional 2,103 shares in the last quarter. Finally, YHB Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Manulife Financial Corp in the second quarter valued at $202,000. 45.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

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