Bank of America upgraded shares of Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a report published on Friday, Benzinga reports. The firm currently has $18.59 price target on the asset manager’s stock.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Waddell & Reed Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $20.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. Morgan Stanley set a $14.00 price objective on shares of Waddell & Reed Financial and gave the stock a sell rating in a research note on Friday, February 8th. ValuEngine raised shares of Waddell & Reed Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, February 8th. Finally, Citigroup cut shares of Waddell & Reed Financial from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, January 14th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. Waddell & Reed Financial has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $18.66.

Shares of NYSE:WDR opened at $18.48 on Friday. Waddell & Reed Financial has a twelve month low of $16.01 and a twelve month high of $21.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a quick ratio of 1.44 and a current ratio of 3.27. The company has a market capitalization of $1.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 1.43.

Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The asset manager reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.11. Waddell & Reed Financial had a net margin of 15.82% and a return on equity of 20.81%. The company had revenue of $272.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $273.78 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.36 EPS. Waddell & Reed Financial’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Waddell & Reed Financial will post 1.48 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.41%. Waddell & Reed Financial’s payout ratio is 43.86%.

In other news, Director Dennis E. Logue sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.72, for a total transaction of $83,600.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 69,452 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,161,237.44. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 2.13% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WDR. Captrust Financial Advisors lifted its position in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 181.9% during the 4th quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 1,452 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 937 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund purchased a new position in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $37,000. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its position in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 968.8% during the 4th quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 4,243 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $76,000 after buying an additional 3,846 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in shares of Waddell & Reed Financial by 17.7% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 6,744 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 1,012 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.19% of the company’s stock.

Waddell & Reed Financial Company Profile

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides investment management and advisory, investment product underwriting and distribution, and shareholder services administration to mutual funds, and institutional and separately managed accounts in the United States. The company acts as an investment adviser for institutional and other private investors, and provides sub advisory services to other investment companies; and underwrites and distributes registered open-end mutual fund portfolios.

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Analyst Recommendations for Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR)

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