They manage other people’s money. That’s their business and, apparently, business right now is good. The stocks of each one of these asset managers are hitting new 52-week highs. All are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Some are very big and well-known, some trade lightly and you don’t hear much about them.
Without getting into whatever the fundamental reasons might be for the positive action lately, all you need to do is examine the upward slant on these price charts. That’s the story: these financials are being purchased and those purchasing keep coming back for more.
Affiliated Managers Group AMG .
The earnings record is in the red for the past 5 years, the price/earnings ratio is a high (for this sector) 39 and they pay a measly dividend of .04%. None of that is keeping Affiliated from the new highs list. Average daily volume is a relatively light 411,000 and the short float is 4.9%.
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Blackrock BLK .
Positive earnings this year and the 5-year record is green for the New York City-based financial institution. Shareholder equity exceeds long-term debt. The p/e is 23. Blackrock pays a 2.03% dividend. Average daily volume is 650,000 shares. Deutsche Bank on October 1st upgraded the stock from hold to buy with a target in the 576 to 654 range — mission accomplished and then some.
Eaton Vance EV .
See that gap up in early October? That’s where Eaton Vance agreed to be acquired by Morgan Stanley MS , all subject, of course, to expected regulatory approval. Since the deal was announced, the stock has continued to trade even higher. On November 24, Eaton declared a “special dividend” for investors as part of the acquisition arrangement.
KB Financial Group SBFG .
The South Korean-based bank trades with a price/earnings ratio of 5.58. The stock can be picked up at about half of its book value. These 2 metrics are much lower than most other equities in the sector. KB is paying a 4.1% dividend. Long-term debt is greater than shareholder equity. Liquidity would be a concern for large institutional investors: only about 137,000 shares trade daily.
Stifel SF Financial.
The stock has more than doubled in price from the March lows of 35 to the present 72. Stifel trades at 1.43 book value with a p/e of 13. The dividend yield comes to a meager .94%. Average daily volume is 482,000. This year’s earnings are positive and so is the 5-year record. The company’s shareholder equity exceeds long-term debt.
These are not buy recommendations. This is more like a heads-up for investors who may have become focused on things like Tesla TSLA and Bitcoin — there are other investments also hitting 52-week highs, sometimes in unexpected sectors.