Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “BlackRock’s shares have outperformed the industry in the past six months. This performance is supported by impressive earnings surprise history as the company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. While the company is undertaking initiatives to restructure its actively managed equities business and expand globally via acquisitions to further help top-line growth, mounting expenses mainly due to continued rise in marketing costs is likely to hurt the bottom-line growth to some extent. Also, the company's high dependence on overseas revenues remains a matter of concern. Further, a stretched valuation indicates limited upside potential for the stock.”

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A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group boosted their target price on BlackRock to $565.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, January 15th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $680.00 target price on shares of BlackRock in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Citigroup lowered BlackRock from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $625.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Wells Fargo reissued a market perform rating and issued a $555.00 target price (up previously from $535.00) on shares of BlackRock in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Argus reissued a buy rating and issued a $620.00 target price (up previously from $520.00) on shares of BlackRock in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $567.15.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) opened at $539.42 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $90,670.66, a PE ratio of 24.91, a P/E/G ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.71. BlackRock has a one year low of $368.00 and a one year high of $594.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 2.94 and a quick ratio of 2.94.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, January 12th. The asset manager reported $6.24 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $5.94 by $0.30. BlackRock had a return on equity of 12.31% and a net margin of 39.79%. The business had revenue of $3.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.33 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $5.14 EPS. BlackRock’s revenue was up 20.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that BlackRock will post 28.46 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 22nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 7th were given a dividend of $2.88 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 6th. This represents a $11.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.14%. This is a positive change from BlackRock’s previous quarterly dividend of $2.50. BlackRock’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.02%.

In other news, Director Ryan Stork sold 7,136 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $543.50, for a total transaction of $3,878,416.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Jeff A. Smith sold 425 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $565.96, for a total transaction of $240,533.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 20,961 shares of company stock valued at $11,375,444 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.86% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in BLK. Invictus RG bought a new position in shares of BlackRock during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $110,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of BlackRock by 1,119.2% during the 3rd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. now owns 317 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $141,000 after acquiring an additional 291 shares during the period. Assetmark Inc. grew its stake in shares of BlackRock by 57.1% during the 4th quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 278 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $143,000 after acquiring an additional 101 shares during the period. Oakworth Capital Inc. grew its stake in shares of BlackRock by 67.6% during the 4th quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 305 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $153,000 after acquiring an additional 123 shares during the period. Finally, Manchester Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of BlackRock during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $156,000. Institutional investors own 84.74% of the company’s stock.

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BlackRock Company Profile

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.

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