Legg Mason Inc. Stock Upgraded (LM)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Legg Mason (NYSE: LM) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, LM's share price has jumped by 42.41%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, LM should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $213.66 million or 31.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LEGG MASON INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -358.14%.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 6.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • LEGG MASON INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LEGG MASON INC swung to a loss, reporting -$2.69 versus $1.53 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.20 versus -$2.69).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 61.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $76.07 million to $29.20 million.
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Legg Mason, Inc. provides asset management and related financial services to institutional and individual clients, company-sponsored mutual funds, and other pooled investment vehicles worldwide. Legg Mason has a market cap of $4.31 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 30.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Legg Mason Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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