Asia just adds to their strong investor appeal

Article Excerpt

Canada’s top insurance firms remain great choices for investors seeking blue-chip growth plus solid yields. They’re also a great way for you to tap into fast-growing Asian demand for insurance and wealth management services. MANULIFE FINANCIAL CORP., $26.36, is a buy. This safety-conscious blue-chip company (Toronto symbol MFC; Shares o/s: 2.0 billion; Market cap: $51.4 billion; TSINetwork Rating: Above Average; Dividend yield: 3.8%; www.manulife.ca) is Canada’s largest life insurer. Manulife also sells other forms of insurance, including health, dental and travel plans; in addition, it offers mutual funds and investment management services. As of September 30, 2019, the company had $1.2 trillion in assets under administration. Increasingly, markets outside of Canada contribute to its growth for investors. In the quarter ended September 30, 2019, overall earnings fell 0.8%, to $1.53 billion from $1.54 billion, a year earlier. With fewer shares outstanding, investors saw earnings per share rose 1.3%, to $0.76 from $0.75. Asia led that growth, with profits there rising 12.8%, to $520 million from $461 million. Manulife’s shares…

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