Short Interest in Sun Life Financial Inc (NYSE:SLF) Grows By 64.7%

Sun Life Financial Inc (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 4,069,263 shares, an increase of 64.7% from the February 28th total of 2,470,617 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 424,504 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 9.6 days.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Bremer Trust National Association bought a new stake in shares of Sun Life Financial in the fourth quarter valued at $28,000. Enlightenment Research LLC bought a new stake in shares of Sun Life Financial in the fourth quarter valued at $33,000. Arbor Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Sun Life Financial in the fourth quarter valued at $33,000. Lindbrook Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Sun Life Financial in the fourth quarter valued at $36,000. Finally, Lake Point Wealth Management bought a new stake in shares of Sun Life Financial in the fourth quarter valued at $47,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 41.22% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:SLF traded up $0.03 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $40.99. 284,637 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 486,903. The stock has a market cap of $24.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.93 and a beta of 0.86. Sun Life Financial has a 12-month low of $31.49 and a 12-month high of $43.99.

Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The financial services provider reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.32. Sun Life Financial had a return on equity of 13.83% and a net margin of 9.71%. The company had revenue of $8.18 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.28 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.05 earnings per share. Sun Life Financial’s quarterly revenue was down 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts anticipate that Sun Life Financial will post 3.76 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 1st were given a $0.381 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.72%. This is a boost from Sun Life Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. Sun Life Financial’s payout ratio is currently 40.53%.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $58.00 target price on shares of Sun Life Financial in a report on Friday. ValuEngine raised Sun Life Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 20th. CIBC cut Sun Life Financial from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $53.00 to $54.00 in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. Scotiabank reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of Sun Life Financial in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Sun Life Financial in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.60.

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About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial Inc, a financial services company, provides insurance, wealth, and asset management solutions to individuals and corporate clients worldwide. The company operates through five segments: Sun Life Financial Canada, Sun Life Financial United States, Sun Life Financial Asset Management, Sun Life Financial Asia, and Corporate.

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