April 2 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs removed BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) from its Americas conviction buy list and said it expects a weak first quarter for asset managers.
The brokerage said the group's first-quarter median earnings-per-share is expected to be down 60 percent year-over-year.
"We expect the group's assets under management to decline 9 percent on average with a continued negative mix shift (away from equities) and further operating margin contractions," Goldman said.
The brokerage, which retained its "buy" rating on shares of BlackRock, expects institutional activity to be subdued in the first quarter as investors work through their 2009 allocation decisions.
Goldman said it sees a better buying opportunity in the second half of 2009.
The brokerage raised its price target on shares of both Calamos Asset Management CLMS.O and Janus Capital JNS.N to $5 from $4.50.
Goldman recommended investors to sell Cohen & Steers Inc (CNS.N), Federated Investors (FII.N), T Rowe Price (TROW.O) and Gamco Investors (GBL.N), and buy Waddell & Reed Financial (WDR.N) and Invesco Ltd (IVZ.N). (Reporting by Archana Shankar in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)