Head to Head Analysis: Symetra Financial (SYA) versus Manulife Financial (MFC)

Symetra Financial (NYSE: SYA) and Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) are both financials companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Symetra Financial and Manulife Financial’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Symetra Financial N/A N/A N/A $1.36 N/A
Manulife Financial $40.27 billion 1.00 $2.26 billion $1.47 13.83

Manulife Financial has higher revenue and earnings than Symetra Financial. Symetra Financial is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Manulife Financial, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Symetra Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.44 per share. Manulife Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Symetra Financial pays out 32.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Manulife Financial pays out 43.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Manulife Financial has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years. Manulife Financial is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

46.2% of Manulife Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Symetra Financial and Manulife Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Symetra Financial 3.63% 2.50% 0.23%
Manulife Financial N/A 11.55% 0.64%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Symetra Financial and Manulife Financial, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Symetra Financial 0 0 0 0 N/A
Manulife Financial 0 1 2 0 2.67

Manulife Financial has a consensus price target of $29.00, suggesting a potential upside of 42.65%.


Manulife Financial beats Symetra Financial on 8 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Symetra Financial

Symetra Financial Corporation is a financial services company in the life insurance industry. The Company’s products are distributed domestically in all states and the District of Columbia through benefits consultants, financial institutions, broker-dealers and independent agents and advisers. It has three divisions: Benefits Division, Retirement Division and Individual Life Division. The Company’s Benefits Division provides medical stop-loss insurance, group life and disability income (DI) insurance, and limited benefit medical insurance as its principal products. The Company’s Retirement Division provides products that help its customers prepare for retirement and includes the Deferred Annuities and Income Annuities segments. The Company’s Individual Life division sells life insurance products.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) is a holding company of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (MLI), which is a life insurance company, and John Hancock Reassurance Company Ltd. (JHRECO), which is a reinsurance company. The Company operates as a financial services company with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. The Company’s segments include Asia Division, Canadian Division, U.S. Division, and the Corporate and Other. The Company operates as Manulife in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. The product and service offerings under its Asia, Canadian and U.S. Divisions include Protection, Wealth and Asset Management, and Other Wealth. The Corporate and Other segment includes external asset management business, Property and Casualty (P&C) Reinsurance Business, and run-off reinsurance operations, including variable annuities, and accident and health.

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