Citigroup Lowers BlackRock (BLK) to Neutral

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) was downgraded by analysts at Citigroup from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They presently have a $625.00 price target on the asset manager’s stock. Citigroup’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 6.51% from the stock’s current price.

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of BlackRock from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $501.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of BlackRock from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $440.00 to $500.00 in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $680.00 price target on shares of BlackRock in a report on Friday, January 12th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $620.00 price target (up previously from $520.00) on shares of BlackRock in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Jefferies Group boosted their target price on shares of BlackRock to $565.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, January 15th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $547.92.

Shares of BlackRock (BLK) traded up $11.05 during trading on Thursday, reaching $586.80. 516,601 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 559,672. The company has a market cap of $94,080.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.37, a PEG ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09, a current ratio of 2.89 and a quick ratio of 2.89. BlackRock has a 12-month low of $365.83 and a 12-month high of $594.52.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, January 12th. The asset manager reported $6.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $5.94 by $0.30. The firm had revenue of $3.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.33 billion. BlackRock had a net margin of 39.79% and a return on equity of 12.54%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $5.14 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that BlackRock will post 28.52 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Jeff A. Smith sold 100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $477.54, for a total transaction of $47,754.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Susan Wagner sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $506.10, for a total transaction of $2,024,400.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 481,915 shares in the company, valued at approximately $243,897,181.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 4,525 shares of company stock worth $2,312,687 in the last 90 days. 1.86% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Arthur M. Cohen & Associates LLC acquired a new position in BlackRock during the 4th quarter worth about $4,919,000. Advisor Partners LLC lifted its position in BlackRock by 10.2% during the 4th quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 2,406 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $1,420,000 after buying an additional 223 shares in the last quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH acquired a new position in BlackRock during the 4th quarter worth about $9,537,000. K.J. Harrison & Partners Inc lifted its position in BlackRock by 20.0% during the 4th quarter. K.J. Harrison & Partners Inc now owns 2,400 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $1,233,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Baskin Financial Services Inc. acquired a new position in BlackRock during the 4th quarter worth about $8,435,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.60% of the company’s stock.

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About BlackRock

BlackRock, Inc (BlackRock) is an investment management company. BlackRock provides a range of investment and risk management services to institutional and retail clients worldwide. Its diverse platform of active (alpha) and index (beta) investment strategies across asset classes enables the Company to tailor investment outcomes and asset allocation solutions for clients.

Analyst Recommendations for BlackRock (NYSE:BLK)

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