The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that
Desjardins Securities analyst Doug Young continues to rate Manulife Financial "buy." The Globe's David Leeder writes in the Eye On Equities column that Mr. Young trimmed his share target by $2 to $25. Analysts on average target the shares at $26.33. Mr. Young says concerns for the Canadian insurance sector are "plentiful" ahead of first quarter earnings season. He says in a note: "In 1Q20, lower interest rates and equity markets will weigh on headline and core earnings. Over the next few quarters, we foresee higher credit losses and higher group disability claims in Canada. That said, we do not believe the core franchises have been tarnished and we expect regulatory capital (LICAT) to hold up in these turbulent times." Mr. Young trimmed his earnings expectations for both the first and second quarters by an average of 12 per cent.
At the same time, he increased his 2021 expectation by an average of 10 per cent, seeing "a more normal environment to materialize and some of the drivers of core earnings to resurface for each of the lifecos." The Globe reported on March 14 that Mr. Young maintained his "buy" call when the shares were trading at $17.96.
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