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Analyst Blog

Shares of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (AMP - Analyst Report) crafted a new 52-week high, touching $114.15 in the second half of the trading session on Dec 26. However, the stock closed the session at $113.81, which reflects a solid year-to-date return of 74.3%.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) investment manager has plenty of upside left, given its positive estimate revisions over the last 60 days and expected year-over-year earnings growth of 25.1% for 2013.

Growth Drivers

Ameriprise’s impressive price performance came on the back of strong third-quarter 2013 results as well as asset growth.

On Oct 29, Ameriprise announced third-quarter results. Earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 10.4%. On an operating basis, net revenue grew 7% year over year to $2.7 billion. Moreover, total assets under management (AUM) and assets under administration were $735 million, rising 8% year over year.

Ameriprise’s steady capital deployment activities in the form of share buybacks and regular dividend payouts continue to attract investors. Further, the company’s cost-control measures and increased client activity are expected to drive growth going forward.

Moreover, Ameriprise has delivered positive earnings surprises in the trailing 4 quarters with an average beat of 7.88%.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

In the last 60 days, all 6 estimates for 2013 have moved north, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.5% to $6.99 per share. For 2014, 4 out of 6 estimates advanced over the sane time frame, causing the Zacks Consensus Estimate to increase 1.4% to $7.92 per share.

Better-ranked investment managers include Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc. (APAM - Snapshot Report), Lazard Ltd. (LAZ - Analyst Report) and Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (WDR - Analyst Report). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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