The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday edition that Manulife Financial's first quarter profit declined sharply as the COVID-19 outbreak pummelled global equity markets. The Globe's Clare O'Hara writes that first quarter net income fell by 41 per cent to $1.25-billion or 64 cents a share. That compared with $2.13-billion or $1.08 in the first quarter of 2019.
Manulife's Asian arm, which operates in 12 regions, experienced a steep 86-per-cent drop in profits, year over year. Net income for Asia was $95-million for the first quarter, down from $695-million in 2019. Manulife's earnings measures exclude some costs, because it argues the measures are useful gauges of its operating performance. One exclusion is the effects of changes made in underlying actuarial assumptions, such as how long buyers of life insurance policies they have sold will likely live.
Another example -- which came into play in the first quarter -- is losses in the stock market.
Manulife reported what it refers to as "core earnings" of $1-billion or 64 cents a share. It also said it had a $608-million loss on investments in the quarter, and had an additional $1.3-billion loss tied to the equity markets and guarantees on its annuity products.
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