UPDATE 1-Merrill cuts estimates, targets on asset managers

viernes 10 de octubre de 2008 18:33 CEST

 (Recasts; adds details)
 Oct 10 (Reuters) - Merrill Lynch slashed its price target
and fiscal 2008 earnings estimates on several U.S asset
managers, citing valuation and lower assets under management.
 "With no firm bottom in sight and record volatility,
there's very little visibility to earnings at this point,"
analyst Cynthia Mayer said in a note to clients. "Long-term we
continue to see asset managers as a good business, with higher
margins and less balance sheet risk than many other
 Mayer said few firms would be able to cope with the rapid
drop in revenue caused by a fall in assets under management in
the recent past.
 The analyst said operating margins are likely to drop
rapidly in the fourth quarter, particularly for bigger firms
with high fixed costs, unless assets recover.
 The note also said the performance of AllianceBernstein
Holding L.P. and Franklin Resources Inc have been hit by the
rally in the U.S dollar.
 Merrill said its top pick remains Federated Investors Inc
given its more defensive asset mix and the U.S government's
support for money market funds.
 The following are the price target and estimate changes
made by Merrill Lynch.
 COMPANY                            EPS FORECAST         
                                  Current     Prior     
Current   Prior AllianceBernstein (AB.N: Cotización)             $3.08     
 $3.70      $31       $66  Afiliated Managers Group (AMG.N: Cotización)    
$6.09       $6.75      $89       $124  Calamos Asset Management
CLMS.O    $0.10    
 $1.08       $14       $23  Cohen & Steers Inc (CNS.N: Cotización)         
 $1.11       $1.44      $14       $26  Eaton Vance Corp (EV.N: Cotización) 
         $1.70       $1.88      $36       $43 Federated
Investors Inc (FII.N: Cotización)      $2.15       $2.38      $32       $40
Franklin Resources (BEN.N: Cotización)           $6.76       $6.94      $87
   $116 Gamco Investors (GBL.N: Cotización)              $1.40      
$2.14      $31       $46 Invesco (IVZ.N: Cotización)                     
$1.51       $1.62      $21       $30 Janus Capital Group
JNS.N          $1.04       $1.16      $13       $29 Legg
Mason Inc (LM.N: Cotización)                $0.48       $1.86      $29     
 $58 T. Rowe Price (TROW.O: Cotización)               $2.15       $2.39    
 $44       $64 Waddell & Reed (WDR.N: Cotización)               $1.55      
$1.77      $22       $39 Och-Ziff Capital Management (OZM.N: Cotización)   
--          --       $14       $20
 (Reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore; Editing by Anil