Shares of BlackRock, Inc. (BLK) crafted a new 52-week high, touching $293.31 at the beginning of the trading session on May 21, 2013. The closing price of this leading asset manager represents a solid year-to-date return of 38.1%. The average trading volume over the last 3 months was 0.7 million shares.
Despite hitting its 52-week high, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has plenty of upside left given its strong estimate revisions over the last 30 days and expected year-over-year earnings growth of 17.15% for 2013.
BlackRock’s acquisition spree and impressive first-quarter 2013 results - including an earnings surprise of 1.67%, a record $3.936 trillion in assets under management (up 7% year over year) and continuous capital deployment activities – have been the primary growth drivers.
Recently, BlackRock entered into a definitive agreement with MGPA, an independent private-equity property investment advisory firm, to purchase the latter. The acquisition will enable BlackRock to acquire MGPA’s assets under management worth approximately $12 billion. Further, this will take the total amount invested by BlackRock in the worldwide real estate business to $25 billion.
On Apr 16, 2013, BlackRock reported first-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of $3.65 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.59. The results compare favorably with the year-ago earnings of $3.16. The year-over-year improvement was primarily attributable to top-line growth, partially offset by higher operating expenses.
Alongside, the company has delivered positive earnings surprises for 4 straight quarters with an average beat of 3.75%.
Estimate Revisions Show Potency
Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 0.7% to $16.03 per share. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 0.8% to $18.24 per share over the same time frame.
Other banks that are also worth considering include AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (AB), GAMCO Investors, Inc. (GBL) and Invesco Ltd. (IVZ). All these carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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