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Legg Mason AUM Ascends in January, Equity Inflows Recorded

Zacks Equity Research

Legg Mason Inc. LM reported 2.7% rise in assets under management (AUM) as of Jan 31, 2019, from the previous month. Preliminary month-end AUM came in at $746.7 billion, up from the December 2018 figure of $727.2 billion.

January AUM displayed $2.4 billion fixed income outflows and liquidity outflows of $$3.8 billion, partly offset by alternative and equity net inflows of $0.2 billion each. Notably, positive foreign exchange impact of $2.3 billion remained a favorable factor.

Legg Mason’s equity AUM at the end of January climbed 8.5% from the prior-month figure to $196.3 billion. Fixed income AUM inched up 1.9% sequentially to $414.3 billion. Further, alternative assets remained stable at $66.3 billion.

Rise in fixed income and equity AUM, resulted in long-term AUM of $676.9 billion. The figure marks a 3.5% increase from the previous month. Moreover, liquid assets, which are convertible into cash, moved down 4.8% to $69.8 billion.

Our Viewpoint

Legg Mason has the potential to outperform its peers over the long run, backed by a diversified product mix and leverage to the changing market demography. Nonetheless, absence of continued growth in equity markets and foreign-exchange fluctuations remain headwinds.

Shares of the company have lost around 5.2% over the last six months compared with the 12.2% decline recorded by the industry.

Legg Mason currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Competitive Landscape

Among other investment managers, Cohen & Steers CNS reported preliminary AUM of $60 billion as of Jan 31, 2019, up 9.5% from the prior-month level. Market appreciation of $5 billion and net inflows of $427 million, partly offset by distributions of $200 million, drove this upswing.

Invesco Ltd.’s IVZ AUM as of Jan 31, 2019, came in at $930.6 billion, up nearly 4.8% from the previous month. Favorable market returns, higher money market AUM and reinvested distributions were primary reasons behind the rise in total AUM. Moreover, foreign exchange boosted the month’s AUM by $4.9 billion. However, these were partially offset by net long-term outflows and non-management fee earning AUM outflows.

Franklin Resources BEN announced preliminary AUM by its subsidiaries of $678.3 billion for January 2019. Results display 4.4% rise from $649.9 billion recorded as of Dec 31, 2018. Net market gains, partially offset by net outflows, led to this upside. However, the figure dipped 12% from the previous year.

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