Manulife profit falls on equity markets, currency
By Lynne Olver
TORONTO (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp said net income dipped 8.5 percent in the second quarter, a bigger decline than expected, due to weak U.S. and Hong Kong equity markets, a stronger Canadian dollar and tax provisions.
But Manulife, North America's No. 2 life insurer, also raised its dividend by 8 percent to 26 Canadian cents a share.
It earned C$1.01 billion ($963.3 million), or 66 Canadian cents a share, down from year-earlier C$1.1 billion, or 71 Canadian cents a share.
Analysts had expected profit of 71 Canadian cents a share before exceptional items, according to Reuters Estimates.
Manulife shares fell as low as C$36.29 early on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but recovered some ground as the session went on. By late morning the stock was down 1.8 percent at C$36.92.
"Obviously the headline number was short of consensus, it's a slight miss," said Jukka Lipponen, insurance analyst at KBW.
"In the corporate segment they had a loss, and I was looking for positive earnings. But in terms of top-line growth, they had a lot of strength in a number of areas."
The higher Canadian dollar trimmed earnings by C$41 million in the quarter, Manulife said. About 70 percent of its income is denominated in foreign currencies. Continued...