Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE:LM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday morning. The firm currently has $38.00 price target on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Legg Mason’s estimates have been increasing lately ahead of its second-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings release. The company’s continued strategic acquisitions over the last few years, including the acquisition of Financial Guard in Aug 2016, will boost the company’s top-line growth. Notably, management expects to remain focused on generating overall inflows in the coming years, thereby enhancing assets under management. Further, sound liquidity position and cost saving measures should bolster profitability. However, stringent regulatory landscape and the current cyclical and secular pressures in the asset management business remain concerns for Legg Mason.”
A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $4.00 target price on shares of Legg Mason in a report on Monday, September 12th. Morgan Stanley reissued a hold rating on shares of Legg Mason in a report on Friday, September 9th. Jefferies Group reissued a buy rating on shares of Legg Mason in a report on Thursday, August 11th. Barclays PLC reissued an overweight rating and set a $41.00 price objective on shares of Legg Mason in a report on Sunday, July 31st. Finally, Citigroup Inc. raised their price objective on Legg Mason from $45.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Legg Mason presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $38.00.
Shares of Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) traded down 0.27% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $33.34. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 492,487 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $34.03 and a 200 day moving average price of $32.97. The company’s market cap is $3.45 billion. Legg Mason has a 1-year low of $24.93 and a 1-year high of $46.41.
Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.31 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $700.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $681.99 million. Legg Mason had a positive return on equity of 7.06% and a negative net margin of 3.25%. The company’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.14 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Legg Mason will post $2.31 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 24th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, October 6th will be given a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 4th. Legg Mason’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -103.53%.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LM. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Legg Mason during the fourth quarter valued at $37,380,000. Aperio Group LLC raised its position in Legg Mason by 106.3% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 91,043 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,157,000 after buying an additional 46,914 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in Legg Mason by 28.3% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 229,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,952,000 after buying an additional 50,600 shares during the period. BlackRock Group LTD raised its position in Legg Mason by 2.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 884,292 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,667,000 after buying an additional 24,217 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in Legg Mason by 1.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 2,881,436 shares of the company’s stock valued at $99,928,000 after buying an additional 31,592 shares during the period. 78.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Legg Mason
Legg Mason, Inc is a holding company. The Company and its subsidiaries are principally engaged in providing asset management and related financial services to individuals, institutions, corporations and municipalities. The Company operates through Global Asset Management segment. Global Asset Management provides investment advisory services to institutional and individual clients and to the Company-sponsored investment funds.
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