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Will Q1 Earnings Hold a Surprise for Sun Life (SLF) Stock?

Sun Life Financial Inc. SLF is set to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 10, after the market closes. Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 15.87%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to be Considered this Quarter    

Sun Life has likely to have experienced better results in its U.S. and Asia businesses owing to stronger economic growth in such markets. Also, a stronger U.S. dollar compared with the Canadian dollar is expected to have supported the company’s earnings.

Moreover, the overall sales of individual insurance products in Asia might have witnessed an increase, thereby reflecting currency higher agency sales in most markets and strong growth in health and accident sales.  
 
In addition, the company has likely experienced a rise in its Global Asset Management Business, which is expected to have led to an increased asset base in the to-be-reported quarter. Growth in the asset management business should boost the company’s earnings.

Prudent acquisitions and strategic investments should also have aided the upside.

However, exposure to low interest rates has likely weighed on the company’s investment results.

Further, Sun Life has likely faced market volatility, which in turn, has led the company to employ hedging costs. Such hedging costs are expected to exert pressure on the company’s earnings.

With respect to the surprise trend, the company delivered positive surprises in all of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 11.35%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Sun Life is likely to beat on earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Sun Life has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 65 cents.

Zacks Rank: Sun Life carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, an ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.  

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies from the finance sector that you may want to consider as these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Marathon Patent Group, Inc. MARA has an Earnings ESP of +45.83% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is slated to report first-quarter earnings on May 12.

Bank of Montreal BMO has an Earnings ESP of +0.79% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is set to report first-quarter earnings on May 25.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank TD has an Earnings ESP of +6.90% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is slated to report first-quarter earnings on May 26.

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BANK MONTREAL (BMO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TORONTO DOM BNK (TD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SUN LIFE FINL (SLF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MARATHON PATENT (MARA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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