Legg Mason Inc (LM) VP Thomas C. Merchant Sells 5,582 Shares

Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM) VP Thomas C. Merchant sold 5,582 shares of Legg Mason stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.11, for a total transaction of $201,566.02. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 78,586 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,837,740.46. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

Shares of NYSE LM opened at $35.31 on Friday. Legg Mason Inc has a twelve month low of $23.25 and a twelve month high of $39.79. The company has a market capitalization of $3.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.62, a PEG ratio of 0.70 and a beta of 1.73. The company has a quick ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 1.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 13th. The asset manager reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.54 by $0.16. Legg Mason had a negative net margin of 0.98% and a positive return on equity of 7.24%. The company had revenue of $692.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $699.24 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.86 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.8% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Legg Mason Inc will post 3.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 22nd. Investors of record on Tuesday, July 2nd will be issued a $0.40 dividend. This is a positive change from Legg Mason’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.53%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, July 1st. Legg Mason’s payout ratio is presently 44.74%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in Legg Mason by 121.5% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 324,951 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $10,148,000 after purchasing an additional 178,222 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB grew its position in Legg Mason by 59.9% in the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 200,033 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $6,247,000 after purchasing an additional 74,940 shares during the period. Retirement Systems of Alabama grew its position in Legg Mason by 0.4% in the 4th quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 110,892 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $2,829,000 after purchasing an additional 464 shares during the period. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in Legg Mason in the 4th quarter worth approximately $46,000. Finally, Oakbrook Investments LLC grew its position in Legg Mason by 7.0% in the 4th quarter. Oakbrook Investments LLC now owns 9,200 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $235,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 84.76% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley set a $27.00 target price on shares of Legg Mason and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Legg Mason in a report on Wednesday, April 10th. Citigroup upgraded shares of Legg Mason from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $27.00 to $29.50 in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Legg Mason from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Finally, Gabelli reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Legg Mason in a report on Wednesday, April 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $32.44.

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About Legg Mason

Legg Mason, Inc is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides investment management and related services to company-sponsored mutual funds and other investment vehicles including pension funds, foundations, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, private banks, family offices, individuals, as well as to global, institutional, and retail clients.

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