On Mar 23, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Legg Mason Inc
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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Why the Upgrade?
Legg Mason has witnessed rising earnings estimates on the back of
strong fiscal third -quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this
property and casualty insurer delivered positive earnings
surprises in three out of last four quarters. The long-term
expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 17.1%
Legg Mason reported fiscal third-quarter 2013 results on Feb 1.
Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at 70 cents, better than the
Zack Consensus Estimate of 54 cents per share.
Better-than-expected results reflected higher top-line growth,
aided by improved investment advisory fees and other revenues.
Legg Mason's total revenue was $673.9 million, up 7.5% year over
year, driven by higher performance fees.
Moreover, in mid-March, Legg Mason together with its affiliate,
Permal Group, closed the acquisition of London-based
fund-of-hedge-funds firm, Fauchier Partners. Fauchier will be
integrated with Permal to form a new entity with asset under
management worth $24 billion. The transaction is expected to be
accretive to Legg Mason's earnings in the first year and reflects
the company's aim of providing exceptional services to its
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 77.5% to $2.77
per share as 2 of 4 estimates were revised higher over the last
60 days. Also for 2014, 8 of 10 estimates moved up, pushing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate higher by 30.4% to $2.83 over the same
Other Stocks to Consider
Other investment managers like
Apollo Global Management, LLC
Virtus Investment Partners, Inc.
) carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are worth noting.