Updating your Conservative-Growth Payers: Sun Life Financial

Article Excerpt

SUN LIFE FINANCIAL INC. $62 is a buy. The stock (Toronto symbol SLF; Conservative-Growth Dividend Payer Portfolio, Finance sector; Shares outstanding: 586.3 million; Market cap: $36.4 billion; Dividend yield: 4.6%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Above Average; www.sunlife.ca) is Canada’s third-largest life insurance company after Manulife (No. 1) and Great-West Lifeco (No. 2). With the December 2022 payment, Sun Life will raise your quarterly dividend by 4.3%, to $0.72 a share from $0.69. Its new annual rate of $2.88 yields a high 4.6%, and it aims to pay out 40% to 50% of its underlying earnings as dividends. In June 2022, the company acquired DentaQuest for $2.48 billion U.S. That firm is the largest provider of Medicaid dental benefits in the U.S. The company is also buying 51% of Advisor Asset Management, a leading U.S. wealth advisory firm. It paid $280 million with an option to buy the remainder in 2028. Sun Life’s earnings in the quarter ended September 30, 2022, rose 5.2%, to $949 million, or $1.62 a..