Zacks Investment Research Downgrades LPL Financial (LPLA) to Hold

LPL Financial (NASDAQ:LPLA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “LPL Financial Holdings Inc. is engaged in providing an integrated platform of brokerage and investment advisory services to independent financial advisors and financial advisors at financial institutions in the United States. Its brokerage offerings include variable and fixed annuities, mutual funds, general securities, alternative investments, retirement plans, fixed income, and insurance offerings. LPL Financial Holdings Inc., formerly known as LPL Investment Holdings Inc., is based in Boston, Massachusetts. “

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley set a $70.00 price target on shares of LPL Financial and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $91.00 price target on shares of LPL Financial in a report on Monday, February 4th. BidaskClub raised shares of LPL Financial from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Saturday, January 19th. Citigroup upped their price target on shares of LPL Financial to $100.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 1st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of LPL Financial in a report on Tuesday, November 27th. They issued a “conviction-buy” rating on the stock. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $80.33.

Shares of LPLA opened at $77.91 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.40, a quick ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.43. LPL Financial has a twelve month low of $52.03 and a twelve month high of $78.29. The stock has a market cap of $6.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.62, a P/E/G ratio of 0.81 and a beta of 1.59.

LPL Financial (NASDAQ:LPLA) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.49 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.12. LPL Financial had a net margin of 8.47% and a return on equity of 46.29%. The company had revenue of $1.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.36 billion. Equities analysts anticipate that LPL Financial will post 6.33 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider George Burton White sold 23,892 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.00, for a total transaction of $1,576,872.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 50,581 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,338,346. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Dan H. Arnold sold 36,774 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total transaction of $2,574,180.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 269,761 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,883,270. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 144,499 shares of company stock worth $9,867,875 in the last three months. Insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LPLA. CWM LLC lifted its stake in shares of LPL Financial by 66.7% during the fourth quarter. CWM LLC now owns 445 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $27,000 after buying an additional 178 shares during the period. First Hawaiian Bank purchased a new position in shares of LPL Financial during the third quarter valued at approximately $188,000. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of LPL Financial by 5.6% during the fourth quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,161 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 168 shares during the period. AlphaCrest Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of LPL Financial during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Finally, Greenleaf Trust purchased a new position in shares of LPL Financial during the third quarter valued at approximately $254,000. 92.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

LPL Financial Company Profile

LPL Financial Holdings Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides an integrated platform of brokerage and investment advisory services to independent financial advisors and financial advisors at financial institutions in the United States. Its brokerage offerings include variable and fixed annuities, mutual funds, equities, retirement and 529 education savings plans, fixed income, and insurance, as well as alternative investments, such as non-traded real estate investment trusts and business development companies.

Further Reading: How Does the Quiet Period Work?

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