4 Reasons to Add Affiliated Managers to Your Portfolio Now

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Affiliated Managers Group 's AMG diverse product mix and initiatives undertaken to strengthen its retail market operations make it a promising pick right now. Further, the company remains well positioned to drive growth on successful partnerships and global distribution capability.

A positive trend in estimate revisions reflects optimism over the company's earnings growth prospects. Consensus estimates for Affiliated Managers' fourth-quarter and 2017 earnings have moved up marginally over the last 30 days. As a result, the stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

The stock has surged 35.9% over the past 12 months, widely outperforming the industry 's rally of 27.6%.

Here's What Might Drive the Stock Higher

Earnings Strength: Affiliated Managers recorded an earnings growth rate of 10.9% over the last three to five years compared with 2.9% for the industry it belongs to. The earnings growth rate for the current and the next year is anticipated to be 12.7% and 14.3%, respectively.

Further, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. The average beat was 2.1%.

Impressive Capital Deployment: Affiliated Managers' capital deployment plan is commendable. Its 2017 capital plan includes initiation of a quarterly cash dividend of 20 cents per share in January 2017 and share repurchase authorization of four million shares. Given its solid liquidity position and earnings strength, the company should be able to sustain this level of capital deployment.

Strong Inorganic Growth: Affiliated Managers, with its strong balance sheet and liquidity position, is capable enough to invest in other companies. The company is targeting investments in alternatives and global strategies, given the strong preference of investors for the same. In July 2017, the company acquired a minority equity interest in Wealth Partners Capital Group, LLC. Earlier, in 2016, the company acquired minority stakes in at least nine firms, with a goal to strengthen profitability. Given the growing demand for differentiated return-oriented strategies among global institutional clients, the company's profitability should improve going forward.

Favorable ROE: Affiliated Managers' return on equity (ROE) supports its growth potential. Its ROE of 17.63% compares favorably with the industry average of 12.75%, implying that it is efficient in using its shareholders' funds.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks from the same space are Ashford AINC and Legg Mason LM , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1, and Woori Bank WF carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Ashford witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 7.1% for 2017, in the last 60 days. Its share price has increased 115% in the past 12 months.

Legg Mason's Zacks Consensus Estimate was revised 2.2% upward for 2017, in the last 60 days. The company's share price has increased 31.2% in the past 12 months.

Woori Bank witnessed upward earnings estimate revision of 5.7% for 2017, in the last 60 days. Its share price has increased 42.2% in the past 12 months.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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