Legg Mason, Inc. (LM) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE:LM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Legg Mason have outperformed the industry year to date. The company has displayed a decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. Legg Mason’s second-quarter fiscal 2018 results reflected top-line strength and steady assets under management (AUM), partially offset by higher expenses. The company’s strategic acquisitions over the last few years, are anticipated to boost top-line growth. Further, its steady capital deployment activities will continue enhancing shareholders’ value. However, continued equity AUM outflows in the coming years can be a headwind. Also, escalating compensation expenses may hinder the company's bottom-line growth.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Morgan Stanley cut Legg Mason from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $37.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a buy rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of Legg Mason in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Deutsche Bank AG assumed coverage on Legg Mason in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. They issued a buy rating and a $44.00 target price on the stock. Barclays PLC assumed coverage on Legg Mason in a research report on Friday, September 8th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $39.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and issued a $49.00 target price on shares of Legg Mason in a research report on Sunday, August 20th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of C$43.10.

Shares of Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) traded up C$0.52 during midday trading on Friday, hitting C$38.06. The company had a trading volume of 1,160,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,094,865. The company has a quick ratio of 1.79, a current ratio of 2.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. Legg Mason has a 52 week low of C$29.71 and a 52 week high of C$42.08. The company has a market capitalization of $3,499.14, a PE ratio of 13.26, a P/E/G ratio of 0.89 and a beta of 2.27.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported C$0.79 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of C$0.69 by C$0.10. Legg Mason had a return on equity of 7.16% and a net margin of 8.46%. The company had revenue of C$768.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of C$739.47 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.63 earnings per share. Legg Mason’s revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that Legg Mason will post 2.84 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.28 per share. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 19th. Legg Mason’s payout ratio is 43.75%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LM. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in shares of Legg Mason by 8.5% during the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 476,402 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,203,000 after purchasing an additional 37,253 shares in the last quarter. KCG Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Legg Mason in the first quarter worth approximately $396,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Legg Mason by 8.9% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 352,875 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,743,000 after acquiring an additional 28,797 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Legg Mason by 1.8% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 150,325 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,428,000 after acquiring an additional 2,694 shares during the period. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. lifted its stake in shares of Legg Mason by 3.9% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 12,555 shares of the company’s stock worth $479,000 after acquiring an additional 470 shares during the period. 83.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Legg Mason Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Legg Mason (NYSE:LM)

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