Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) (TSE:SLF) from a sell rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday morning. They currently have $40.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Sun Life Financial’s aggressive re-designing of products, improved pricing, and focus on segments with higher growth and return complemented by market factor of reduced interest rate and market risk bode well. A strong balance sheet and effective capital deployment in growth initiatives will fuel earning, ROE and enhance shareholders’ value. The company continues to forge ahead with its digital and wealth initiatives in Canada, strong sales momentum in Asia, the scaling and integration of its U.S. operations, and strong long-term investment performance in asset management businesses. The company targets medium-term EPS growth between 8% and 10%. However, exposure to macro headwinds, regulatory uncertainties and low rates are headwinds. Also, shares of Sun Life Financial have underperformed the Zacks categorized Life Insurance industry, year to date.”

Several other analysts also recently commented on the company. Bank of America Corporation raised Sun Life Financial from an underperform rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, July 10th. BidaskClub raised Sun Life Financial from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, July 8th. ValuEngine raised Sun Life Financial from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Royal Bank Of Canada raised Sun Life Financial from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $51.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, June 7th. Finally, National Bank Financial reissued an outperform overweight rating on shares of Sun Life Financial in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $45.17.

Sun Life Financial (SLF) traded down 0.78% on Wednesday, hitting $36.99. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 388,077 shares. The stock has a market cap of $22.70 billion, a PE ratio of 11.89 and a beta of 0.87. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $33.64 and a 200-day moving average of $36.48. Sun Life Financial has a 12 month low of $30.38 and a 12 month high of $40.57.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 30th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 31st were given a $0.3164 dividend. This represents a $1.27 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.42%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 26th. Sun Life Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 41.23%.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SLF. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. purchased a new stake in Sun Life Financial during the first quarter worth about $221,905,000. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Sun Life Financial by 686.8% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,429,171 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $52,038,000 after buying an additional 1,247,534 shares in the last quarter. Greystone Managed Investments Inc. increased its stake in Sun Life Financial by 562.3% in the first quarter. Greystone Managed Investments Inc. now owns 1,440,844 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $52,462,000 after buying an additional 1,223,285 shares in the last quarter. AGF Investments Inc. increased its stake in Sun Life Financial by 835.2% in the first quarter. AGF Investments Inc. now owns 1,163,929 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $42,452,000 after buying an additional 1,039,472 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Sun Life Financial by 4.8% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,072,396 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $477,796,000 after buying an additional 593,878 shares in the last quarter. 42.30% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial Inc is the holding company of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. The Company is a financial services company providing a range of insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individuals and corporate Clients. It operates through five segments. The Sun Life Financial Canada segment provides retail insurance and investment advice, products and services to people across Canada.

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Analyst Recommendations for Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF)

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