Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE:WDR) – Analysts at Jefferies Group dropped their FY2017 EPS estimates for shares of Waddell & Reed Financial in a report released on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst D. Fannon now expects that the asset manager will post earnings per share of $1.57 for the year, down from their prior estimate of $1.58. Jefferies Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $23.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Waddell & Reed Financial’s Q1 2018 earnings at $0.48 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $2.08 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $2.20 EPS.
WDR has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Waddell & Reed Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $23.00 price target on shares of Waddell & Reed Financial in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Credit Suisse Group increased their price target on Waddell & Reed Financial from $18.00 to $19.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $18.00 target price on Waddell & Reed Financial and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Waddell & Reed Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Waddell & Reed Financial has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $19.75.
Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The asset manager reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $289.45 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $285.30 million. Waddell & Reed Financial had a return on equity of 16.81% and a net margin of 10.10%. The company’s revenue was down 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.65 EPS.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, January 11th will be issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 10th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.33%. Waddell & Reed Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 71.43%.
In other Waddell & Reed Financial news, CMO Thomas W. Butch sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.26, for a total transaction of $96,300.00. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 248 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,776.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CAO John E. Sundeen, Jr. sold 45,168 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.48, for a total value of $1,015,376.64. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 270,437 shares in the company, valued at $6,079,423.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 100,619 shares of company stock worth $2,192,613. 3.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WDR. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in 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 acquiring an additional 2,924 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in 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 acquiring an additional 4,012 shares during the period. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. bought a new stake in Waddell & Reed Financial during the second quarter valued at about $173,000. CIBC World Markets Inc. bought a new stake in Waddell & Reed Financial during the second quarter valued at about $205,000. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new stake in Waddell & Reed Financial during the third quarter valued at about $205,000. 97.43% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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.
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