Manulife Financial Co. (NYSE:MFC) Short Interest Up 130.6% in April

Manulife Financial Co. (NYSE:MFCGet Rating) (TSE:MFC) was the target of a significant increase in short interest during the month of April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 12,430,000 shares, an increase of 130.6% from the April 15th total of 5,390,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 4,340,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.9 days. Approximately 0.6% of the company’s shares are short sold.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Prospera Financial Services Inc acquired a new stake in Manulife Financial in the first quarter valued at $26,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Manulife Financial during the first quarter worth $27,000. PSI Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Manulife Financial during the third quarter worth $29,000. Widmann Financial Services Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Manulife Financial during the fourth quarter worth $33,000. Finally, Allegheny Financial Group LTD acquired a new stake in shares of Manulife Financial during the fourth quarter worth $34,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 47.04% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on MFC. Canaccord Genuity Group lowered shares of Manulife Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. Barclays began coverage on shares of Manulife Financial in a research report on Thursday, February 3rd. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $36.00 price objective for the company. TD Securities cut their price objective on shares of Manulife Financial from C$37.00 to C$34.00 in a research report on Thursday. Desjardins lowered shares of Manulife Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lowered their target price on shares of Manulife Financial from C$29.00 to C$26.00 in a report on Friday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Manulife Financial currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.50.

MFC traded up $0.68 during trading on Friday, hitting $17.44. 7,217,182 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,954,917. Manulife Financial has a 1 year low of $16.63 and a 1 year high of $22.19. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $20.32 and a 200 day moving average price of $19.99. The firm has a market cap of $33.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 4.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.68 and a beta of 1.22.

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFCGet Rating) (TSE:MFC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 9th. The financial services provider reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $17.14 billion for the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.57 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Manulife Financial will post 2.69 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 20th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 25th will be paid a $0.257 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 24th. This represents a $1.03 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.89%. Manulife Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.96%.

About Manulife Financial (Get Rating)

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial products and services in Asia, Canada, the United States, and internationally. The company operates through Wealth and Asset Management Businesses; Insurance and Annuity Products; And Corporate and Other segments. The Wealth and Asset Management Businesses segment provides mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, group retirement and savings products, and institutional asset management services through agents and brokers affiliated with the company, securities brokerage firms, and financial advisors pension plan consultants and banks.

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