Legg Mason (LM) Getting Somewhat Favorable Media Coverage, Report Finds

News coverage about Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) has been trending somewhat positive recently, according to AlphaOne Sentiment. The research firm, a subsidiary of Accern, identifies positive and negative press coverage by reviewing more than 20 million news and blog sources in real-time. AlphaOne ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Legg Mason earned a coverage optimism score of 0.17 on AlphaOne’s scale. AlphaOne also assigned news stories about the asset manager an impact score of 72 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is likely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the next several days.

Here are some of the media headlines that may have impacted AlphaOne Sentiment Analysis’s analysis:

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Legg Mason (NYSE:LM)

Legg Mason (LM) traded up 0.99% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $39.74. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,111,665 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average is $37.81 and its 200 day moving average is $35.21. Legg Mason has a one year low of $27.54 and a one year high of $39.85. The company has a market cap of $3.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.23 and a beta of 2.17.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 26th. The asset manager reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.29. Legg Mason had a return on equity of 6.71% and a net margin of 7.87%. The firm had revenue of $723.13 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $701.50 million. During the same period last year, the business posted ($0.15) earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Legg Mason will post $2.26 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 13th will be paid a $0.28 dividend. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.82%. This is a boost from Legg Mason’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 9th. Legg Mason’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.91%.

LM has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Legg Mason from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, March 20th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $41.00 price target on shares of Legg Mason in a research report on Monday, March 27th. Evercore ISI lowered Legg Mason from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $36.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Friday, March 3rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $43.00 price target on shares of Legg Mason in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Legg Mason from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.29.

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In other news, CAO Ursula Schliessler sold 1,745 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.39, for a total value of $65,245.55. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 14,445 shares in the company, valued at $540,098.55. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Terence Johnson sold 8,777 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.24, for a total value of $326,855.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 100,415 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,739,454.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 23,847 shares of company stock valued at $856,877. Company insiders own 1.94% of the company’s stock.

About Legg Mason

Legg Mason, Inc is a holding company. The Company and its subsidiaries are principally engaged in providing asset management and related financial services to individuals, institutions, corporations and municipalities. The Company operates through Global Asset Management segment. Global Asset Management provides investment advisory services to institutional and individual clients and to the Company-sponsored investment funds.

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