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Shares of BlackRock, Inc. (BLK - Analyst Report) reached a new 52-week high, touching $323.00 at the beginning of the trading session on Dec 26, 2013. The closing price of this leading asset manager marked a solid year-to-date return of 52.0%. The average trading volume over the last 3 months was 0.6 million shares.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has plenty of upside left, given its strong estimate revisions over the last 60 days and expected year-over-year earnings growth of 10.7% for 2013.

Growth Drivers

BlackRock’s impressive third-quarter 2013 results, a record $4.10 trillion in assets under management (up 12% year over year) and continuous capital deployment activities were the primary factors that boosted the stock price.  

On Oct 16, 2013, BlackRock reported third-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of $3.88 per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but up 12% from the prior-year quarter figure. Results benefited from increased revenues, partly offset by higher operating expenses. Further, significant growth in assets under management (AUM) was a tailwind.

Alongside, the company has delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 out of the past 4 quarters with an average beat of 5.40%.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate rose 0.2% to $16.06 per share. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 0.5% to $18.94 per share over the same time frame.

However, some better-ranked investment management firms include Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (WDR - Analyst Report), GAMCO Investors, Inc. (GBL - Snapshot Report) and Lazard Ltd. (LAZ - Analyst Report). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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