AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “ALLIANCE CAP MANAGEMENT L.P. provides diversified investment management services, primarily to pension funds, endowments, foreign financial institutions, and to individual investors. “

Separately, Citigroup dropped their price target on shares of AllianceBernstein from $37.00 to $33.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 15th.

Shares of AB stock traded down $0.22 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $29.35. 316,583 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 260,531. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $28.85 and its 200 day simple moving average is $28.94. The stock has a market cap of $2.84 billion, a PE ratio of 10.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.45 and a beta of 1.20. AllianceBernstein has a 12 month low of $23.34 and a 12 month high of $31.42.

AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 24th. The asset manager reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.63. The firm had revenue of $877.87 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $880.27 million. AllianceBernstein had a net margin of 6.55% and a return on equity of 15.18%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.69 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that AllianceBernstein will post 2.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 4th will be paid a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 1st. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 8.59%. This is an increase from AllianceBernstein’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. AllianceBernstein’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 94.38%.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Centric Wealth Management acquired a new stake in shares of AllianceBernstein during the second quarter worth $204,000. NEXT Financial Group Inc acquired a new stake in shares of AllianceBernstein during the second quarter worth $51,000. Foundry Partners LLC increased its position in shares of AllianceBernstein by 11.0% during the second quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 607,538 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $18,056,000 after buying an additional 60,047 shares during the period. Moors & Cabot Inc. increased its position in shares of AllianceBernstein by 6.1% during the second quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 52,375 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $1,556,000 after buying an additional 3,014 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth Equity Services LLC increased its position in shares of AllianceBernstein by 9.6% during the second quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 75,753 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $2,251,000 after buying an additional 6,647 shares during the period. 17.67% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About AllianceBernstein

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. is publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides research services to its clients. It provides its services to investment companies, pension and profit sharing plans, banks and thrift institutions, trusts, estates, government agencies, charitable organizations, individuals, corporations, and other business entities.

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