Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE:WDR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $23.00 target price on the asset manager’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 14.71% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Waddell & Reed's shares have outperformed the industry over the last six months. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. A consistent decline in expenses continues to be a positive. As the company is making efforts to improve efficiency and optimize its operations, expenses are likely to continue witnessing a downward trend in the next few quarters. Further, its initiatives through Project E should help boosting top-line growth in the long run. Despite higher gross sales and a fall in net outflows, assets under management (AUM) continue to decline. Also, pressure on revenues is expected to hamper the company’s profitability.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group decreased their target price on Waddell & Reed Financial from $19.00 to $18.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $18.00 target price on shares of Waddell & Reed Financial in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. BidaskClub downgraded Waddell & Reed Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 19th. ValuEngine downgraded Waddell & Reed Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada set a $18.00 target price on Waddell & Reed Financial and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $18.19.

Shares of Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE WDR) traded down 1.57% on Thursday, hitting $20.05. The stock had a trading volume of 1,054,711 shares. Waddell & Reed Financial has a 12 month low of $15.02 and a 12 month high of $22.45. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $18.68 and a 200-day moving average of $18.32. The stock has a market cap of $1.68 billion, a PE ratio of 12.60 and a beta of 2.04.

Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The asset manager reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.02. Waddell & Reed Financial had a return on equity of 18.75% and a net margin of 11.34%. The company had revenue of $286.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $285.25 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.59 earnings per share. Waddell & Reed Financial’s quarterly revenue was down 10.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Waddell & Reed Financial will post $1.45 EPS for the current year.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: “Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (WDR) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research” was originally reported by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are reading this piece of content on another site, it was stolen and republished in violation of US & international trademark and copyright law. The original version of this piece of content can be viewed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/10/05/waddell-reed-financial-inc-wdr-stock-rating-upgraded-by-zacks-investment-research.html.

In other news, VP Benjamin R. Clouse sold 5,903 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.01, for a total transaction of $118,119.03. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 25,845 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $517,158.45. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Alan W. Kosloff sold 25,076 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.40, for a total value of $486,474.40. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 71,873 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,394,336.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.80% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WDR. Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 79.0% during the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 6,624 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 2,924 shares during the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 80.3% during the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 9,010 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $170,000 after buying an additional 4,012 shares during the last quarter. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial during the second quarter valued at approximately $173,000. Advantus Capital Management Inc grew its stake in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 4.8% during the first quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 10,790 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $183,000 after buying an additional 498 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CIBC Asset Management Inc bought a new position in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial during the second quarter valued at approximately $194,000. 96.37% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Waddell & Reed Financial

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc, incorporated on December 24, 1981, is a holding company. The Company is a mutual fund and asset management company. The Company provides investment management, investment advisory, investment product underwriting, and distribution and shareholder services administration to Waddell & Reed Advisors group of mutual funds (the Advisors Funds), Ivy Funds, Ivy Funds Variable Insurance Portfolios (Ivy Funds VIP), InvestEd Portfolios and 529 college savings plan (collectively, the Funds), and the Ivy Global Investors Fund SICAV (the SICAV) and its Ivy Global Investors sub-funds (the IGI Funds), and institutional and separately managed accounts.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Waddell & Reed Financial (WDR)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

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

Receive News & Ratings for Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.