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Analyst Blog

Shares of BlackRock, Inc. (BLK - Analyst Report) crafted a new 52-week high, touching $275.21 in the first half of the trading session on May 6, 2013. The closing price of this leading title insurer represents a solid year-to-date return of 29.8%. The trading volume over the last 3 months was 0.8 million shares.

Despite hitting its 52-week high, this Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) stock has plenty of upside left given its strong estimate revisions over the last 30 days and expected year-over-year earnings growth of 16.41% for 2013.

Growth Drivers

Impressive first-quarter 2013 results – including an earnings surprise of 1.67%, a record $3.936 trillion in assets under management (up 7% year over year) and continuous capital deployment activities – have been the primary growth drivers.

On Apr 16, 2013, BlackRock reported first-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of $3.65 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.59. The results compare favorably with the year-ago earnings of $3.16. The year-over-year improvement was primarily attributable to top-line growth, partly offset by higher operating expenses.

Moreover, the company has delivered positive earnings surprises for 4 straight quarters with an average beat of 3.75%.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

Over the last 30 days, 10 out of 15 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.5% to $15.92 per share. For 2014, 10 out of 14 estimates moved higher over the same time frame, helping the Zacks Consensus Estimate advance 2.1% to $18.09 per share.   

Other banks that are worth considering include AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (AB - Snapshot Report), GAMCO Investors, Inc. (GBL - Snapshot Report) and Invesco Ltd. (IVZ - Analyst Report).  All these carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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