Sun Life Financial (TSE: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) ended a strong year with net profit up 45% year-over-year to C$1.08 billion in the fourth quarter, largely due to the IPO of the insurance company’s asset management joint venture in India.
Q4 2021 profit came in at C$1.83 per diluted share, up from C$1.27 per share a year earlier.
The increase included a C$297 million gain on the public offering and an increase in the value of Sun Life’s real estate investments, partially offset by a C$153 million increase in acquisition-related liabilities.
Underlying earnings were C$898 million (C$1.53 per share) in Q4 2021, up 4% from C$862 million (C$1.47 per share) in Q4 2020.
Wealth sales for the three months ended December 31 increased to C$56.7 billion, while insurance sales rose 13% to C$1.61 billion.
Sun Life president and CEO Kevin Strain said, “Sun Life delivered strong performance in 2021 as we continued to navigate uncertainties of the ongoing pandemic across our markets,. We ended the year with a solid fourth quarter driven by growth in wealth and asset management. Our assets under management grew to $1.4 trillion, up 15% from prior year. Insurance sales were strong, increasing 13% from prior year, contributing to 16% growth in value of new business. I am proud of how our Sun Life employees and advisors continued to drive positive financial and health impacts for our Clients, especially now, when they need us most.”
Wall Street’s Take
Following the results, Canaccord Genuity analyst Scott Chan CFA kept a Buy rating on SLF and set a price target of C$79.50. This implies 11.7% upside potential.
Overall, the consensus is that SLF is a Moderate Buy, based on two Buys and two Holds. The average Sun Life price target of C$80.13 implies 12.6% upside potential to current levels.
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