4. Blackrock

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Blackrock ( BLK) along with its subsidiaries provides investment management services to institutional clients and to individual investors through various investment vehicles.

Blackrock completed a secondary offering of about 58 million shares priced at $163 per share in November 2010. The offer for sale included over 51 million shares from Bank of America Merill Lynch and 7.5 million offered by PNC Financial Services. The offering improved the company's float to 52%.

Hedge fund titan John Paulson appears to have participated in the secondary offering, taking a fresh exposure to Blackrock with a purchase of 2 million shares. Maverick Capital and Citadel were among the other hedge funds that made significant purchases in the stock.

Blackrock has emerged as a top pick among asset management firms. According to analysts at Wells Fargo, the asset manager is poised to benefit from a surge in flows into mutual funds and from its 45%-50% market share in the ETF space.

Blackrock reported an adjusted profit of $3.42 per share, soundly beating analysts' estimates of $2.90. Assets under management totaled $3.561 trillion, benefiting from both inflows and strong performance across funds.

12 out of 13 analysts rate it a buy. There is no sell rating on the stock.

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