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Manulife Financial (MFC - Analyst Report) reported first-quarter 2012 operating income of $1.13 (C$1.13) billion or (C$66) cents per share, compared with $871 (C$874) million or (C$54) cents per share in the prior-year quarter. 

Including the direct impact of equity markets, net income came in at $1.21 (C$1.21) billion compared with net income of $983 (C$985) million in the year-ago quarter.

Total revenue declined 46% year over year to $3.8 (C$3.8) billion, primarily due to higher realized investment losses.

During the quarter, total insurance sales were up 35% year over year to $821.0 (C$823) million, led by higher sales from Asia and  Canada where sales soared 26% and 80% respectively, partly offset by a 3% decline in sales in the U.S.

The company’s wealth sales, however, declined 8% year over year to $8.7 (C$8.7) billion, due to a decline in mutual funds sales in both U.S and Canada regions, partly offset by higher wealth sales from the Asia division. 

Premium and deposit for the insurance products were $5.7 (C$5.7) billion and for the wealth products were $11.4 (C$11.4) billion down 3% year over year. 

Total funds under management as of March 31, 2012, were $513 (C$512) billion up 7% year over year, as a result of increased fee income.

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company’s consolidated regulatory capital ratio or Minimum Continuing Capital and Surplus Requirements (“MCCSR”) was 225% as of March 31, 2011, reflecting a decline from 243% as of March 31, 2011.

Manulife currently retains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating. Considering the fundamentals, we are maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the shares.

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Manulife Financial operates as a life insurance company. The company also offers reinsurance services. The company functions as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. The company competes with MetLife Inc. (MET - Analyst Report).

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