Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) Looks Very Tasty on This Recent Change

Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) has been upgraded by Argus, which now rates the stock as Buy versus Hold prior rating, according to a note issued on December 31. Analysts at CIBC, shed their positive views on May 29 by lowering it fromSector Outperform to Neutral. The stock won favor of BMO Capital Markets analysts who expressed their confidence in it using an upgrade from Market Perform to Outperform on February 16.

SLF stock rose 0.79% in recent trade and currently has a stock-market value of $22.98B. The shares finished at $38.26, after trading as low as $37.86 earlier in the session. It hit an intraday high Wednesday at $38.33. Trading activity significantly weakened as the volume at ready counter decreased to 394,257 shares versus 563,820 in average daily trading volume over the past 20 days. So far this year, the volume has averaged about 516,055 shares. The stock is now 21.5% above against its bear-market low of $31.49 on December 26, 2018. It has retreated -14.98% since it’s 52-week high of $43.99 reached in May. Now the market price is down -9.89% on the year and up 15.28% YTD.

Wall Street’s most bullish Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) analysts are predicting the share price to blow past $45.39 per share during the next 12 months. The current median share price forecast by them is $40.54, suggesting that the stock could increase 5.96% in that time frame. The average price target of $40.53 calls for a nearly 5.93% increase in the stock price.

Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF)’s 50 day simple moving average (SMA 50) price is $36.28 and its 200-day simple moving average (SMA 200) price is $38.05. The company’s stock currently has a total float of 598.12M shares. Its weekly volatility is hovering around 0.95% and felt 1.52% volatility in price over a month. On the upside, the share price will test short term resistance at around $38.44. On a downside, the stock is likely to find some support, which begins at $37.97. The failure to get near-term support could push it to $37.68.

When looking at valuations, Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) has a cheap P/E of 12.42x as compared to industry average of 13.47x. Moreover, it trades for 9.61 times the next 12 months of expected earnings. Also, it is trading at rather expensive levels at just over 1.44x price/book and 1.14x price/sales. Compared to others, Sun Life Financial Inc. is in a different league with regards to profitability, having net margins of 9.3%. To put some perspective around this, the industry’s average net margin is 8.51%. SLF’s ROE is 12.1%, which is also considerably better than the industry’s ROE of 6.77%.

Shares of SLF have gained 8.6% since the company’s most recent earnings report. Over the past 12 fiscal quarters, Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) has topped consensus earnings estimates in 9 quarters (75%), missed earnings in 2 quarters (16%), whereas at 1 occasion EPS met analyst expectations. SLF last reported earnings that exceeded expectations. The company raked in $1.19 per share, -62.93% change on the same period last year. That was better than consensus for $1.15. Revenue for the recent quarter stood at $8.65 billion, up 35% on last year and above the $6.02 billion predicted by analysts. For this quarter, Wall Street analysts forecast revenue in a range of $32.05 billion to $32.05 billion, which should be compared with $35.67 billion generated last year. EPS is seen in a range of $4.88 to $5.13, against the $5.02 reported a year ago.