Sun Life Financial posts strong Q4 profit, fiscal 2009 profits down

Sun Life Financial posts lower 2009 income as aggregate fund value rises

sun-life-logoSun Life Insurance Company has released Q4 2009 financial earnings (PDF) today.

The company reported net income of $296-million, up significantly from the same period last year when it earned $129-million.

On a per share diluted basis, Sun Life earned $0.52, compared to $0.23 in Q4 2008, but significantly missed Wall Street analyst expectations who were forecasting earnings up to $0.65 per share.

 The company says the increase in Q4 income was a result of “a return to more favorable market conditions,” In addition; the company had a material gain of $825-million (net of tax) on proceeds from the sale of its entire stake in CI Financial.

Sun Life today also declared its regular dividend of $0.36 (press release PDF) on both common and preferred stock today.

For the full year for fiscal 2009, net income was $534-million, down from $785-million in 2008. The company’s MCCSR ratio as at December 31, 2009 was 221-percent, well above minimum regulatory requirements.

Despite the decrease in 2009 net income, the total fund value in 2009 was $34,915-million, up from $29,730-million in 2008. The fund value increased incrementally in all segments, including Canada and the United States.

The company warned today in a statement about fiscal 2010 expected earnings, saying higher management costs are expected, coupled with continued volatility in capital markets, capital adequacy restrictions and deleveraging.

Sun Life shares (NYSE: SLF) opened down today and are currently trading 3.26-percent down to $28.51 per share a bit later than mid-day trading.

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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to [email protected]
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