Sun Life Financial Inc earnings beat estimates hikes dividend by 6

TORONTO — Sun Life Financial Inc., citing “solid contributions from all four pillars” of its business, has reported first-quarter earnings that easily beat estimates and announced a six per cent increase in its dividend.In a report issued Tuesday after markets closed, the big Toronto-based insurer said underlying net income, which removes the impact of items such as interest rates and equity market movements, was $516 million or 84 cents per share in the three months ended March 31.That was up from $440 million or 72 cents in the comparable year earlier period and easily beat the average analyst estimate for adjusted net income of $471 million or 77 cents per share as compiled by Thomson Reuters.Net income was $441 million or 72 cents per share, up from $400 million or 65 per share in the same period last year, matching per share estimates as compiled by Thomson Reuters.Meanwhile, the company said it was increasing its quarterly dividend by two cents a share to 38 cents, payable June 30 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 27.The Canadian Press read more