UPDATE 2-Fortress shares soar after Barclays upgrade

miércoles 9 de septiembre de 2009 17:38 CEST

(Recasts; adds detail, share movement)

Sept 9 (Reuters) - Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG.N: Cotización) shares rose as much as 16 percent after Barclays Capital upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "equal weight."

Analyst Roger Freeman also raised his price target on Fortress stock to $9 from $3.

"We prefer Fortress Investment to Blackstone (BX.N: Cotización) because of a significant valuation discrepancy between the two, despite Blackstone being the highest quality name in our view," Freeman said

Freeman upgraded shares of private equity firm Blackstone Group to "equal weight" from "underweight."

Fortress shares were trading up 14 percent at $5.08 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange, while Blackstone's shares were up 3 percent at $13.05.

The brokerage also initiated coverage on Franklin Resources Inc (BEN.N: Cotización) with an "overweight" rating, and upgraded Invesco Ltd (IVZ.N: Cotización) to "overweight," and said the companies are among the most geographically diverse asset managers, leveraged to growth across equities and bonds globally.

The brokerage said for the two companies, it expected stronger industry inflows, strong managements with proven track records integrating businesses, and balance sheet flexibility to pursue strategic priorities.

"We believe BEN has the ability to capture cross border flows, as well as flows within individual countries given its presence in local home markets," analyst Roger Freeman said in a note to clients.   Continuación...