The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday, March 14, edition that Desjardins Securities analyst Doug Young, in reaction to the recent decline in equity markets and interest rates as well as the business impact from COVID-19, lowered his financial expectations for Manulife Financial ($17.96). The Globe's David Leeder writes in the Eye On Equities column that for 2020 and 2021, Mr. Young's core estimates for Canadian lifecos slid by an average 5 per cent and 4 per cent. He adds that "if conditions continue to deteriorate, there is further downside risk to our estimates." Mr. Young says, "While we see value in this space in the long term, significant headwinds remain." Mr. Young continues to rate Manulife "buy," while trimming his share target to $25 from $31. Analysts on average target the shares at $30.57. Mr. Young calls Manulife one of his top lifeco picks. He adds that he likes Manulife's "earnings growth potential longer-term in Asia." The Globe reported on Feb. 8 that Credit Suisse began coverage began coverage on Manulife with an "outperform" rating. The shares could then be had for $26.56. The Globe reported on Feb. 15 that RBC Dominion Securities analyst Darko Mihelic continued to rate Manulife "outperform." It was then worth $26.11.
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