The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday, Oct. 29, edition that Canaccord Genuity analyst Scott Chan sees a "challenging rate environment" for Canadian lifecos as its third quarter earnings season commences later this week. The Globe's David Leeder writes in the Eye On Equities column that Mr. Chan, however, projecting adjusted core earnings per share growth for the group of 4 per cent year-over-year, raised his target price for "buy" rated Manulife Financial ($24.77) to $33 from $32. Analysts on average target Manulife shares at $32.32. Mr. Chan says in a note: "Generally, we estimate Q3 reported earnings should be lower, mainly impacted by declining interest rates and lower Asian equity markets. This could be slightly offset by widening spreads (e.g. Canada U.S.), and FX (lower CDN$)." The Globe's guest columnist Peter Ashton recommended buying Manulife in the Number Cruncher column on April 26 when the shares could then be had for $24.53. The Globe reported on April 30 that Mr. Chan continued to rate Manulife "buy." It was then worth $24.44. The Globe reported on Oct. 16 that Desjardins Securities analyst Doug Young continued to rate Manulife "buy." Manulife shares could then be had for $24.17.
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