Canadian insurer Sun-Life Financial (SLF) announced today that operating earnings increased 4% in the 4th quarter to 0.98/share. Exlcuding the impact of the strong Canadian dollar, earnings would have been up 12%. Full year 2007 earnings came in at 11% over 2006 EPS. Operating Return on Equity was 14.3% for 2007, up from 13.8% in 2006. These results could hurt the stock, as they have missed analyst estimates by the amount of the currency hit.
"Our 2007 EPS growth and ROE are strong despite volatile economic conditions," said Richard P. McKenney, Chief Financial Officer. "The strength of our balance sheet enables our continued pursuit of our growth objectives."
I own shares of SLF; Sun Life Financial Purchase and life's brighter under the sun are two of the posts where I have discussed Sun Life.
Sun Life (SLF) also raised their quarterly dividend to $0.36/share from $0.34/share. This represents a 6% increase. Sun Life has increased their dividend 12.5% over the past 12 months. Here is a snapshot of SLF's recent dividend history:
2005 = $0.99/share
2006 = $1.105/share
2007 = $1.28/share
2008 = $1.42/share (assuming no 2nd increase)
This represents an annual raise compounded at around 13% over the last 4 years.