Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) saw a significant growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,910,000 shares, a growth of 225.2% from the August 15th total of 1,510,000 shares. Currently, 0.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 654,900 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 7.5 days.
A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on SLF shares. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on Sun Life Financial from $69.00 to $71.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a report on Friday, August 6th. TD Securities cut their target price on shares of Sun Life Financial from C$75.00 to C$73.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, August 5th. Barclays reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a C$64.00 target price on shares of Sun Life Financial in a research note on Thursday, September 2nd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a C$50.96 price objective (down previously from C$73.00) on shares of Sun Life Financial in a research report on Monday, July 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.90.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SLF. Comerica Bank raised its holdings in Sun Life Financial by 3.1% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 41,737 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,217,000 after acquiring an additional 1,244 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Sun Life Financial by 15.2% during the 1st quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 26,907 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,360,000 after purchasing an additional 3,548 shares in the last quarter. Total Clarity Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Sun Life Financial during the 1st quarter worth approximately $25,000. Capital City Trust Co. FL grew its position in shares of Sun Life Financial by 4.3% during the 1st quarter. Capital City Trust Co. FL now owns 4,793 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $242,000 after purchasing an additional 197 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Nova Scotia grew its position in shares of Sun Life Financial by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 9,330,007 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $471,500,000 after purchasing an additional 28,343 shares in the last quarter. 45.95% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 4th. The financial services provider reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $10.31 billion for the quarter. Sun Life Financial had a net margin of 9.51% and a return on equity of 14.05%. Equities analysts predict that Sun Life Financial will post 4.7 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 29th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 25th will be issued a $0.4386 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 24th. This represents a $1.75 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.44%. Sun Life Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 42.93%.
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial, Inc operates as a holding company. The firm engages in the provision of financial services. It operates through the following segments: Sun Life Financial Canada, Sun Life Financial United States, Sun Life Financial Asset Management, Sun Life Financial Asia, and Corporate. The Sun Life Financial Canada segment offers individual insurance and wealth, and group benefits and retirement services.
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