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Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) Sees Large Volume Increase

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Manulife Financial Co. (NYSE:MFC – Get Rating) (TSE:MFC) shares saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 218,340 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 92% from the previous session's volume of 2,690,624 shares.The stock last traded at $15.61 and had previously closed at $16.05.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of research analysts recently commented on MFC shares. Desjardins upped their price objective on Manulife Financial from C$24.00 to C$25.00 in a report on Monday, August 15th. National Bank Financial decreased their price objective on Manulife Financial from C$26.00 to C$25.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Finally, Scotiabank upgraded Manulife Financial from a "sector perform" rating to a "sector outperform" rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of "Hold" and a consensus target price of $29.75.

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Manulife Financial Stock Down 2.1 %

The business has a 50-day moving average price of $17.68 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $18.50. The firm has a market cap of $29.97 billion, a PE ratio of 5.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.62 and a beta of 1.16.

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC – Get Rating) (TSE:MFC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 10th. The financial services provider reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts' consensus estimates of $0.64 by $0.14. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.68 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Manulife Financial Co. will post 2.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Manulife Financial Increases Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 19th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 23rd were given a dividend of $0.258 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 22nd. This represents a $1.03 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 6.56%. This is a positive change from Manulife Financial's previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. Manulife Financial's dividend payout ratio is currently 33.66%.

Institutional Trading of Manulife Financial

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Manulife Financial by 3.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 65,706,458 shares of the financial services provider's stock valued at $1,402,832,000 after buying an additional 2,032,695 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia increased its holdings in Manulife Financial by 18.2% in the second quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 28,768,953 shares of the financial services provider's stock valued at $498,834,000 after buying an additional 4,425,761 shares during the last quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. increased its holdings in Manulife Financial by 12.5% in the first quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 25,986,356 shares of the financial services provider's stock valued at $554,414,000 after buying an additional 2,891,888 shares during the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its holdings in Manulife Financial by 0.8% in the second quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 21,589,406 shares of the financial services provider's stock valued at $373,562,000 after buying an additional 174,580 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank purchased a new position in Manulife Financial in the fourth quarter valued at $362,442,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.50% of the company's stock.

Manulife Financial Company Profile

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Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial products and services in Asia, Canada, the United States, and internationally. The company operates through Wealth and Asset Management Businesses; Insurance and Annuity Products; And Corporate and Other segments. The Wealth and Asset Management Businesses segment provides mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, group retirement and savings products, and institutional asset management services through agents and brokers affiliated with the company, securities brokerage firms, and financial advisors pension plan consultants and banks.

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