Markets

Sector Update: Financials; Manulife, GMP Capital Report Earnings

Financial stocks were mostly lower, with the S&P/TSX Financials index off 0.07%.

Manulife (MFC.TO): +1.5%

GMP Capital (GMP.TO): -0.2%

First National Financial (FN.TO): -3.0%

Intact Financial (IFC.TO): -1.6%

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO): -0.7%

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO): -0.1%

In corporate news, GMP Capital on Thursday reported stronger-than-forecast earnings in the first quarter which came on the back of a 31% increase in revenue.

The financial services firm swung to a profit with adjusted earnings of $0.07, beating expectations of $0.05. Revenue rose to $63.9 million from $48.8 million, helped by an increase in investment banking revenue and higher trading volume in North America.

"While we are optimistic that the growth momentum in the industry sectors we serve will be a catalyst for rising investor confidence and business activity, we remain cognizant of the risks and challenges still facing our industry," said chief executive Harris Fricker said in a statement.

Also, Manulife Thursday said net income attributed to shareholders rose to C$818 million, or C$0.42 per diluted share, for Q1 2014 from C$540 million, or C$0.28 per diluted share, in the prior-year period, driven by strong performance in the Canadian insurer's Asian operations. Core earnings, a non-GAAP measure, came in at C$719 million, or C$0.37 per diluted share, slightly missing the Capital IQ consensus of C$0.38.

The insurer generated revenues of C$14.2 billion, up from last year's C$5.8 billion. The average analyst estimate is for revenue of C$11 billion, based on the Capital IQ survey.

Additionally, the company's board of directors approved the payment of a C$0.13-per-share dividend on and after June 19 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 13.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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