Waddell & Reed Financial (WDR) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Waddell & Reed's shares have underperformed the industry over the last six months. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. Pressure on revenues, mainly because of lower sales volumes and a tough operating environment remains a major concern for the company. Also, muted growth in assets under management (AUM) is likely to hamper its financials in the near term. However, as the company is making efforts to improve efficiency and optimize its operations, expenses are likely to trend lower in the next few quarters, thereby supporting bottom-line growth. Also, given a solid liquidity position, the company is expected to continue to enhance shareholder value through efficient capital deployment activities.”

WDR has been the topic of several other reports. ValuEngine lowered Waddell & Reed Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 13th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Waddell & Reed Financial from $21.00 to $19.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 10th. Finally, Citigroup dropped their price target on Waddell & Reed Financial from $19.50 to $18.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Sell and a consensus target price of $20.75.

Waddell & Reed Financial opened at $18.81 on Wednesday, according to Marketbeat. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a current ratio of 4.27. Waddell & Reed Financial has a twelve month low of $17.53 and a twelve month high of $23.82. The company has a market cap of $1.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.80 and a beta of 1.92.

Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The asset manager reported $0.56 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.02. Waddell & Reed Financial had a return on equity of 17.97% and a net margin of 11.76%. The company had revenue of $297.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $288.38 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.40 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Waddell & Reed Financial will post 2.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 11th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 10th. Waddell & Reed Financial’s payout ratio is 52.08%.

In other Waddell & Reed Financial news, Director James M. Raines sold 2,640 shares of Waddell & Reed Financial stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.93, for a total transaction of $52,615.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 24,826 shares in the company, valued at $494,782.18. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 3.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Allianz Asset Management GmbH raised its stake in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 305.2% in the first quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 143,362 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $2,897,000 after purchasing an additional 107,978 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 2.4% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 653,366 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $13,205,000 after purchasing an additional 15,363 shares during the last quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial in the first quarter worth $326,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its stake in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 49.8% in the first quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 15,032 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $304,000 after purchasing an additional 5,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised its stake in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 53.2% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 43,464 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $879,000 after purchasing an additional 15,090 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.80% of the company’s stock.

About Waddell & Reed Financial

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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Analyst Recommendations for Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR)

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