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Investment management (part of the broader Finance sector) performed decently over the last several quarters. This time too, decent results are expected on positive markets, favorable currencies and better-than-expected flows.

The S&P 500 Index recorded a total return of 3.1% in the second quarter. Though the U.S. equity market recorded positive returns amid mixed economic data, it underperformed both non-U.S. developed and emerging markets. Hence, asset managers with global presence are anticipated to record a rise in equity asset under management (AUM). Moreover, weakness of the U.S. dollar drove the global diversified AUM mix.
 
Further, rising interest rates are expected to lead to decline in fee waivers. Also, demand for alternative investment sources might have aided revenue growth for the investment managers. However, rise in operating expenses, driven by marketing and investments might hurt the bottom line.

Conversely, during the quarter, fixed income generated positive returns as investors ran for safe haven assets. Consequently, fixed income prices increased and resulted in reduced yields.

Notably, some investment managers, including The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX - Free Report) , T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (TROW - Free Report) and BlackRock, Inc. (BLK - Free Report) , have already released their results. Out of these, Blackstone Group and BlackRock have missed estimates despite recording AUM growth, while T. Rowe Price beat estimates.

Notably, per our Earnings Preview report, overall earnings for the Investment managers in second-quarter 2017 are expected to be up 6.7%.

Let’s take a look at the three major investment management stocks that are scheduled to release their results on Jul 27.

Federated Investors, Inc. (FII - Free Report) is set to announce its results after the market closes. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of 50 cents for the company for the upcoming release indicates a year-over-year decline of about 6.29%. However, Federated’s activities during the quarter were enough to win analysts’ confidence, as is evident from two positive revisions in earnings estimates (versus one negative revision) over the last 30 days. Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate remained unchanged over the same time frame.

Moreover, our proven quantitative model does not conclusively predict a likely earnings beat. The company has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) with an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Federated recorded positive earnings surprises in all the trailing four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 5.71%, as shown in the chart below:

Principal Financial Group Inc. (PFG - Free Report) is scheduled to report results, after the market closes. The company has a Zacks Rank #3, with an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. Principal Financial is likely to witness AUM growth in the to-be-reported quarter, primarily backed by strong performances at the asset management and asset accumulation segments. Furthermore, the company is likely to experience improvement in revenues on the back of its fee-based model. In addition, the company’s investment results are likely to improve due to a rising interest-rate environment.

Nonetheless, escalating expenses might impact margin expansion (read more: Can Principal Financial Q2 Earnings Pull a Surprise?).

Meanwhile, Principal Financial has a positive average surprise of 7.54% for the trailing four quarters, having outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the four quarters as demonstrated in the chart below:

Invesco Ltd. (IVZ - Free Report) is slated to release results, before the market opens. Expenses are likely to increase. Management expects property, office and technology expenses to increase to $88 million, owing to the large, technology-related projects, which would come into service, including investments around data and cyber security. On the revenue front, management estimates performance fees to be around $5–$7 million, down year over year (read more: Invesco to Report Q2 Earnings: What's in the Cards?).

With respect to the surprise trend, Invesco posted positive surprises in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 3.16%, as shown in the chart below:

Invesco PLC Price and EPS Surprise

Invesco PLC Price and EPS Surprise | Invesco PLC Quote

Irrespective of an earnings beat or miss, investors should focus on companies’ fundamentals to make investment decisions. Therefore, don’t forget to check our full write-up on earnings releases of these stocks later.

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