TORONTO _ Sun Life Financial Inc. beat analyst expectations even as its net income plunged by 37 per cent to $391 million in the first quarter.

The Toronto-based insurer says it earned 67 cents per share for the three months ended March 31, down from $1.04 per share or $623 million a year earlier.

Sun Life says its underlying earnings grew by seven per cent to $770 million or $1.31 per share.

That compared with $717 million or $1.20 per share in the first quarter of 2019.

The insurance company was expected to earn $1.12 per share in adjusted profits, according to the financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Sun Life revealed the earnings after markets closed after its stock fell by 4.25 per cent to $44.79.


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