Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “ALLIANCE CAP MANAGEMENT L.P. provides diversified investment management services, primarily to pension funds, endowments, foreign financial institutions, and to individual investors. “

Shares of NYSE AB opened at $29.22 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $2.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.94, a PEG ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.23. AllianceBernstein has a 52 week low of $23.34 and a 52 week high of $31.42.

AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The asset manager reported $0.64 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64. AllianceBernstein had a return on equity of 17.10% and a net margin of 7.21%. The firm had revenue of $804.66 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $706.20 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.84 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 12.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that AllianceBernstein will post 2.4 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 25th were issued a dividend of $0.64 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 22nd. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.76%. AllianceBernstein’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 95.88%.

In other news, COO James A. Gingrich sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.38, for a total transaction of $587,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 24,909 shares in the company, valued at $731,826.42. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Axa Equitable Holdings, Inc. purchased 254,675 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 21st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $24.95 per share, with a total value of $6,354,141.25. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 200,514 shares of company stock valued at $6,020,020. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of AllianceBernstein during the fourth quarter worth approximately $55,000. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. acquired a new position in shares of AllianceBernstein in the fourth quarter valued at $87,000. Synovus Financial Corp raised its stake in shares of AllianceBernstein by 26.8% in the fourth quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 4,729 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $130,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. We Are One Seven LLC acquired a new position in shares of AllianceBernstein in the fourth quarter valued at $164,000. Finally, Brown Advisory Inc. acquired a new position in shares of AllianceBernstein in the third quarter valued at $203,000. Institutional investors own 18.00% of the company’s stock.

AllianceBernstein Company Profile

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. is publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides research services to its clients. It provides its services to investment companies, pension and profit sharing plans, banks and thrift institutions, trusts, estates, government agencies, charitable organizations, individuals, corporations, and other business entities.

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