Head-To-Head Review: Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) & SWISS RE LTD/S (NYSE:SSREY)

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) and SWISS RE LTD/S (OTCMKTS:SSREY) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

46.8% of Manulife Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Manulife Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.75 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.0%. SWISS RE LTD/S pays an annual dividend of $0.86 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Manulife Financial pays out 35.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. SWISS RE LTD/S pays out 252.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Manulife Financial has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Manulife Financial is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Manulife Financial and SWISS RE LTD/S’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Manulife Financial 10.43% 13.69% 0.78%
SWISS RE LTD/S N/A N/A N/A

Volatility and Risk

Manulife Financial has a beta of 1.36, suggesting that its stock price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, SWISS RE LTD/S has a beta of 0.34, suggesting that its stock price is 66% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Manulife Financial and SWISS RE LTD/S, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Manulife Financial 0 1 4 0 2.80
SWISS RE LTD/S 0 1 0 0 2.00

Manulife Financial presently has a consensus target price of $28.50, suggesting a potential upside of 53.72%. Given Manulife Financial’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Manulife Financial is more favorable than SWISS RE LTD/S.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Manulife Financial and SWISS RE LTD/S’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Manulife Financial $30.07 billion 1.21 $3.61 billion $2.11 8.79
SWISS RE LTD/S $37.05 billion 0.96 $462.00 million $0.34 72.50

Manulife Financial has higher earnings, but lower revenue than SWISS RE LTD/S. Manulife Financial is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than SWISS RE LTD/S, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Manulife Financial beats SWISS RE LTD/S on 14 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Manulife Financial Company Profile

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups, and institutions in Asia, Canada, and the United States. The company offers individual life, and individual and group long-term care insurance; and guaranteed and partially guaranteed annuity products through insurance agents, brokers, banks, financial planners, and direct marketing. It also provides mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, group retirement and savings products, and institutional asset management services through insurance agents and brokers affiliated with the company, securities brokerage firms, financial advisors, pension plan consultants, and banks; and banking products, such as deposit and credit products to Canadian customers. In addition, the company is involved in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance businesses; and run-off reinsurance operations, including variable annuities, and accident and health. Further, it manages timberland and agricultural portfolios; and engages in insurance agency, portfolio and mutual fund management, mutual fund dealer, life and financial reinsurance, and mutual funds marketing businesses. Additionally, the company holds and manages oil and gas properties; holds oil and gas royalties, and foreign bonds and equities; provides investment management, counseling, advisory, and dealer services; and develops and operates hydro-electric power projects. Manulife Financial Corporation was founded in 1887 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

SWISS RE LTD/S Company Profile

Swiss Re Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, provides wholesale reinsurance, insurance, and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Property & Casualty Reinsurance, Life & Health Reinsurance, Corporate Solutions, and Life Capital. It underwrites property reinsurance, including credit and surety, engineering, aviation, marine, agriculture, and retakaful; casualty reinsurance, such as liability, motor, worker's compensation, personal accident, management and professional liability, cyber, footer, and share price, as well as life and health insurance products. The company also offers standard insurance covers and customized products; and manages closed and open life and health insurance books. It serves stock and mutual insurance companies, public sector clients and governmental entities, mid-sized and large multinational corporations, and individuals. Swiss Re Ltd was founded in 1863 and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

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