AllianceBernstein (AB) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $33.00 price target on the asset manager’s stock.

According to Zacks, “ALLIANCE CAP MANAGEMENT L.P. provides diversified investment management services, primarily to pension funds, endowments, foreign financial institutions, and to individual investors. “

Shares of AB stock opened at $29.77 on Tuesday. AllianceBernstein has a 52 week low of $23.34 and a 52 week high of $31.42. The company has a market capitalization of $2.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.23.

AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The asset manager reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64. AllianceBernstein had a net margin of 7.21% and a return on equity of 17.10%. The company had revenue of $804.66 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $706.20 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.84 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 12.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that AllianceBernstein will post 2.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, General Counsel Laurence E. Cranch sold 122,601 shares of AllianceBernstein stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.01, for a total transaction of $3,679,256.01. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO James A. Gingrich sold 25,000 shares of AllianceBernstein stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.35, for a total transaction of $758,750.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 69,909 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,121,738.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 200,514 shares of company stock valued at $6,020,020. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Truvestments Capital LLC purchased a new stake in AllianceBernstein in the first quarter valued at $42,000. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in AllianceBernstein in the fourth quarter valued at $55,000. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. acquired a new position in AllianceBernstein in the fourth quarter valued at $87,000. Synovus Financial Corp increased its stake in AllianceBernstein by 26.8% in the fourth quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 4,729 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $130,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Finally, We Are One Seven LLC acquired a new position in AllianceBernstein in the fourth quarter valued at $164,000. 17.90% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About AllianceBernstein

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. is publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides research services to its clients. It provides its services to investment companies, pension and profit sharing plans, banks and thrift institutions, trusts, estates, government agencies, charitable organizations, individuals, corporations, and other business entities.

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