Zacks Investment Research Upgrades T. Rowe Price Group (TROW) to “Buy”

T. Rowe Price Group (NASDAQ:TROW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, December 27th. The firm currently has a $118.00 price objective on the asset manager’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 2.30% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of T. Rowe Price have outperformed the industry over the last six months. The company's earnings surprise history is decent. It has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. The company’s planned strategic initiatives like investment in technology and advisory services, strengthening distribution platform, along with introduction of products, will likely stoke long-term growth. Further, it remains debt-free with sufficient liquidity and is focused on boosting shareholders’ confidence through steady capital deployment activities. However, given the strategic initiatives, management estimates operating expenses to flare up 11% for 2017. Also, the regulatory pressure across the investment management industry remains another key concern.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $104.00 price target (up from $96.00) on shares of T. Rowe Price Group in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of T. Rowe Price Group from $94.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. UBS Group raised their price target on shares of T. Rowe Price Group from $69.00 to $72.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Barclays raised their price objective on shares of T. Rowe Price Group from $79.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of T. Rowe Price Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $77.00 to $93.00 in a report on Thursday, October 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $98.70.

Shares of T. Rowe Price Group (TROW) opened at $115.35 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $27,395.57, a PE ratio of 18.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.60 and a beta of 1.32. T. Rowe Price Group has a one year low of $65.33 and a one year high of $115.62.

T. Rowe Price Group (NASDAQ:TROW) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The asset manager reported $1.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.20. T. Rowe Price Group had a net margin of 33.10% and a return on equity of 24.76%. The firm had revenue of $1.22 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.22 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.17 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that T. Rowe Price Group will post 5.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CFO Kenneth V. Moreland sold 8,066 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.12, for a total transaction of $839,831.92. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 100,796 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,494,879.52. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Kenneth V. Moreland sold 14,419 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.07, for a total transaction of $1,399,652.33. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 125,264 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,159,376.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 204,980 shares of company stock valued at $20,776,729. Company insiders own 3.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Capital World Investors grew its position in T. Rowe Price Group by 235.0% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 10,512,236 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $780,113,000 after purchasing an additional 7,373,953 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its position in T. Rowe Price Group by 526.3% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,774,796 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $131,707,000 after purchasing an additional 1,491,425 shares during the period. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. grew its position in T. Rowe Price Group by 65.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. now owns 1,225,132 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $92,203,000 after purchasing an additional 484,994 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its position in T. Rowe Price Group by 94.1% in the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 709,261 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $64,295,000 after purchasing an additional 343,926 shares during the period. Finally, Mackenzie Financial Corp acquired a new stake in T. Rowe Price Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $28,685,000. 72.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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T. Rowe Price Group Company Profile

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc is a financial services holding company. The Company provides global investment management services through its subsidiaries to investors across the world. The Company provides an array of Company sponsored the United States mutual funds, other sponsored pooled investment vehicles, sub advisory services, separate account management, recordkeeping, and related services to individuals, advisors, institutions, financial intermediaries and retirement plan sponsors.

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