Shares of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (AMP) scaled a new 52-week high, reaching $118.21 in the second half of the trading session on Jun 6. The stock closed at $118.04, reflecting a solid return of 42.0% over the past one year. The trading volume for the session was 1.0 million shares.
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has plenty of upside left, given its sturdy estimate revisions over the last 60 days.
Impressive first-quarter 2014 results and enhanced capital deployment activities were the primary growth drivers for Ameriprise.
Ameriprise reported first-quarter 2014 results on Apr 28. Earnings of $2.04 per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.1%. Results benefited from top-line growth, partially offset by higher operating expenses.
Further, during the first quarter, Ameriprise returned $811 million to its shareholders in the form of dividend payments and share repurchases. Also, the company authorized an additional share repurchase of $2.5 billion through Apr 28, 2016. Moreover, Ameriprise announced a regular dividend payout of 58 cents, reflecting a 12% hike from the prior payout.
Estimate Revisions Show Strength
Over the last 60 days, all 5 estimates for 2014 have been revised upward, advancing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.4% to $8.26 per share. For 2015, four of the five estimates moved north, pushing the Zacks Consensus Estimate up 3.4% to $9.37 per share, over the same time frame.
Some other asset managers worth considering include Cohen & Steers Inc. (CNS), Woori Finance Holdings Co., Ltd. (WF) and Janus Capital Group, Inc. (JNS). While both Cohen & Steers and Woori Finance sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Janus Capital holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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