Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report released on Thursday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $614.00 price objective on the asset manager’s stock.
According to Zacks, “BlackRock’s shares have outperformed the industry, in the past six months. This performance is supported by impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. The company is undertaking initiatives to restructure its actively managed equities business with an aim to meet changing client needs. These along with technological changes and its efforts to expand globally via acquisitions will further help top-line growth going forward. However, mounting expenses mainly due to continued rise in marketing costs is likely to hurt the bottom-line growth.”
Several other analysts have also recently commented on BLK. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $440.00 target price on shares of BlackRock in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Goldman Sachs Group raised BlackRock from a neutral rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the stock from $440.00 to $500.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an overweight rating and issued a $501.00 target price (up previously from $476.00) on shares of BlackRock in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Barclays raised their target price on BlackRock from $475.00 to $500.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $500.00 target price on shares of BlackRock in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. BlackRock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $519.00.
BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, January 12th. The asset manager reported $6.24 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $5.94 by $0.30. The business had revenue of $3.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.33 billion. BlackRock had a return on equity of 12.54% and a net margin of 39.79%. The company’s revenue was up 20.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $5.14 EPS. equities research analysts expect that BlackRock will post 27.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 22nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 7th will be given a dividend of $2.88 per share. This is a boost from BlackRock’s previous quarterly dividend of $2.50. This represents a $11.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.07%. BlackRock’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.00%.
In related news, Director Susan Wagner sold 4,000 shares of BlackRock stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $506.10, for a total transaction of $2,024,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 481,915 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $243,897,181.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Jeff A. Smith sold 100 shares of BlackRock stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $477.54, for a total value of $47,754.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.86% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. raised its holdings in BlackRock by 14.3% during the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 240 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 30 shares in the last quarter. Invictus RG bought a new position in BlackRock during the third quarter valued at about $110,000. Harfst & Associates Inc. raised its holdings in BlackRock by 17.3% during the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 265 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 39 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its holdings in BlackRock by 133.3% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 280 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 160 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kings Point Capital Management raised its holdings in BlackRock by 8.1% during the second quarter. Kings Point Capital Management now owns 295 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 22 shares in the last quarter. 83.55% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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BlackRock, Inc (BlackRock) is an investment management company. BlackRock provides a range of investment and risk management services to institutional and retail clients worldwide. Its diverse platform of active (alpha) and index (beta) investment strategies across asset classes enables the Company to tailor investment outcomes and asset allocation solutions for clients.
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