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On January 5, Zacks Investment Research upgraded AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (AB - Snapshot Report) to a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

AllianceBernstein has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong third-quarter 2012 results. Moreover, this well-known investment manager delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4 quarters. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 6.3%.

AllianceBernstein reported third-quarter results on October 24. Adjusted earnings per share came in at 36 cents, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 27 cents by 33.3% and year-ago earnings of 30 cents by 20.0%.

Notably, the company’s Distribution per unit came in at 36 cents, reflecting 38.0% increase over the prior-year quarter.

Earnings were primarily aided by solid operating income year-over-year growth of 8.0%, partially offset by a 35.0% increase in operating expenses. Total net outflows of $4.4 billion also significantly reduced from $11.0 billion recorded in the prior-year period. However, net revenues stood at $574.0 million, down 5.0% year over year.

Currently, AllianceBernstein reported its preliminary assets under management (AUM) of $426.0 billion for the month of November 2012, up 1.7% over the prior month, reflecting continued net inflows.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 increased 16.2% to $1.22 per share over the last 90 days. For 2013, the Zacks Consensus Estimate jumped 17.5% to $1.41 per share over the same time frame.

Other Stocks to Consider

BlackRock, Inc. (BLK - Analyst Report) and Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN - Analyst Report) are the other investment management companies with a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy).

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