Waddell & Reed Financial (WDR) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, September 11th. The brokerage currently has a $23.00 price objective on the asset manager’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 9.42% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Waddell & Reed's shares have outperformed the industry so far this year. Also, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. The company’s initiative to boost revenues has started bearing fruits. While muted growth in assets under management (AUM) and elevated expenses are likely to hamper its financials in the near term,  the company's focus on strengthening its Broker-Dealer channel will likely lead to rise in assets inflows.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $23.00 price objective on shares of Waddell & Reed Financial in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. ValuEngine cut shares of Waddell & Reed Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 13th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Waddell & Reed Financial has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $20.63.

WDR traded up $0.04 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $21.02. 666,350 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,013,369. The company has a current ratio of 3.99, a quick ratio of 1.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 1.84. Waddell & Reed Financial has a 12 month low of $17.53 and a 12 month high of $23.82.

Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 31st. The asset manager reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $295.34 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $288.92 million. Waddell & Reed Financial had a net margin of 13.47% and a return on equity of 19.29%. The business’s revenue was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.29 EPS. As a group, research analysts predict that Waddell & Reed Financial will post 2.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Alan W. Kosloff sold 19,614 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.42, for a total transaction of $400,517.88. Following the transaction, the director now owns 22,184 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $452,997.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 3.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WDR. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its position in Waddell & Reed Financial by 7.6% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 191,842 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $3,877,000 after acquiring an additional 13,606 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its position in Waddell & Reed Financial by 156.2% in the 1st quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 15,276 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $309,000 after acquiring an additional 9,313 shares in the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale bought a new position in Waddell & Reed Financial in the 1st quarter valued at about $417,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in Waddell & Reed Financial by 10.1% in the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 41,733 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $843,000 after acquiring an additional 3,844 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its position in Waddell & Reed Financial by 17.5% in the 1st quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 652,061 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $13,178,000 after acquiring an additional 97,132 shares in the last quarter. 98.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Waddell & Reed Financial Company Profile

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides investment management and advisory, investment product underwriting and distribution, and shareholder services administration to mutual funds, and institutional and separately managed accounts in the United States. The company acts as an investment adviser for institutional and other private investors, and provides sub advisory services to other investment companies; and underwrites and distributes registered open-end mutual fund portfolios.

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