The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday, Feb. 13, edition that Manulife Financial's ($24.88) fourth quarter financial results exceeded the expectations of CIBC World Markets analyst Paul Holden. The Globe's David Leeder writes in the Eye On Equities column that nonetheless, Mr. Holden downgraded the insurer to "neutral" from "outperformer." The Globe says Mr. Holden is concerned about Manulife's valuation. The CIBC stockpicker raised his share target to $26 from $25.50. Analysts on average target the shares at $27.32. Mr. Holden says in a note: "MFC reported solid results that support a return to earnings growth and that should alleviate some investor concerns around balance sheet risk. We are increasing our price target in consideration of the increase to our earnings-per-share estimate. ... We are downgrading the stock given that the P/BV [price-to-book value] is back to 1.0 times and that the implied return to our price target is only 4 per cent." The Globe reported on Jan. 15 that RBC Dominion Securities analyst Darko Mihelic continued to rate Manulife "outperform." Mr. Mihelic forecasted "an improvement in earnings on surplus for [Manulife] in 2021." The shares could then be had for $24.55.
© 2021 Canjex Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.