Credit Suisse Takes John Hancock Down a Notch - TheStreet

John Hancock Financial Services


received a downgrade today because, frankly, the stock has just performed too well over the last few months.

Credit Suisse First Boston's

Caitlin Long downgraded shares of the insurance and financial services company to hold from buy "on the basis of valuation."

"Since Hancock is trading slightly above estimated fair value, some of our growth expectation over the next twelve months is already reflected in the stock price, leaving limited upside potential from here," Long wrote in a research note. In a note last week, Long had written that, based on Hancock's projected book value, she was setting a price target of $42. Shares of Hancock closed yesterday's trading session at $40, and recently slipped 33 cents to $39.67.

Hancock's stock price was unchanged over the last week, but the shares are up 6.3% year-to-date and 86% in the past year.

"Our outlook for Hancock's business remains generally positive but unchanged," Long wrote. She noted that new sales activity will likely be sluggish in the next quarter, which is in line with industry trends, while variable annuity programs are exceeding prior expectations. Estate planning life insurance sales have also picked up for Hancock recently.

Hancock's consensus rating is slightly below buy, according to