Manulife Financial posts Q3 earnings of $1 billion, reverses year-ago loss

TORONTO – Life insurance provider Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC) reported earnings of $1 billion in the third quarter, reversing a year-ago loss of $211 million, on strong investment activity and results from its wealth management business.

The company said it generated core earnings of $704 million in the quarter, up from $570 in the quarter last year.

Fully diluted earnings per common share were 54 cents, compared to a loss of 13 cents per share last year, despite a net charge of $252 million in the quarter as a result of Manulife’s annual review of its actuarial methods and assumptions.

The third quarter last year included a charge of $1 billion related to the corresponding annual review.

The company also saw increases in its wealth and asset management businesses, with wealth sales up 34 per cent to $11.3 billion.

Insurance sales were up four per cent.

“As we predicted last quarter, a number of items with unusual timing reversed themselves this quarter, contributing to the increase in net income,” chief executive Donald Guloien said in a statement.

“Our core earnings give an indication of the underlying earnings capacity of the business going forward.”

Shares in Manulife were trading up 52 cents or almost three per cent at $19.23 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Thursday.