Ares Management (NYSE:ARES) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ares Management (NYSE:ARES) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $88.00 price target on the asset manager’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Ares Management, L.P. is a global alternative asset manager. It manages four investment groups that invest in the tradable credit, direct lending, and private equity and real estate markets. The company’s Tradable Credit Group segment manages various types of investment funds, such as commingled and separately managed accounts. Its Direct Lending Group segment provides financing solutions to small-to-medium sized companies. The company’s Private Equity Group segment focuses on majority or shared-control investments primarily in under-capitalized companies. Its Real Estate Group segment invests in new developments and the repositioning of assets; and originates and invests in a range of self-originated financing opportunities for middle-market owners and operators of commercial real estate. Ares Management, L.P. is headquartered in Los Angeles. “

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on ARES. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Ares Management in a research report on Thursday, December 16th. They set a buy rating and a $117.00 target price for the company. Royal Bank of Canada increased their target price on shares of Ares Management from $87.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, October 29th. Wells Fargo & Company initiated coverage on shares of Ares Management in a research report on Wednesday, December 15th. They set an overweight rating and a $96.00 target price for the company. Jefferies Financial Group increased their target price on shares of Ares Management from $82.00 to $86.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, September 30th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued a hold rating and set a $92.00 target price on shares of Ares Management in a research report on Friday, December 3rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $86.44.

NYSE:ARES opened at $77.12 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $22.36 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.80 and a beta of 1.02. The company has a current ratio of 0.19, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. The company’s 50-day moving average is $81.27 and its two-hundred day moving average is $76.44. Ares Management has a 12-month low of $44.43 and a 12-month high of $90.08.

Ares Management (NYSE:ARES) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 27th. The asset manager reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $512.59 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $528.44 million. Ares Management had a return on equity of 14.96% and a net margin of 10.23%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.48 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Ares Management will post 2.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 31st. Investors of record on Friday, December 17th were paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.44%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 16th. Ares Management’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 97.92%.

In other Ares Management news, CEO Michael J. Arougheti sold 60,616 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.11, for a total value of $4,734,715.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider R. Kipp Deveer sold 32,122 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.83, for a total value of $2,724,909.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 320,741 shares of company stock worth $26,589,266 over the last 90 days. 49.34% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ARES. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its holdings in shares of Ares Management by 10.1% during the third quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 16,801,355 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $1,240,444,000 after purchasing an additional 1,548,154 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Ares Management by 13,697.4% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,527,512 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $97,135,000 after purchasing an additional 1,516,441 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Ares Management by 11.5% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,496,742 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $858,257,000 after purchasing an additional 1,391,706 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Ares Management by 10.2% during the second quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. now owns 13,364,740 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $849,864,000 after purchasing an additional 1,234,200 shares during the period. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Ares Management by 31,395.6% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 926,600 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $58,923,000 after purchasing an additional 923,658 shares during the period. 44.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Ares Management

Ares Management Corp. is engaged in providing investment management and consultancy services. It operates through the following segments: Credit Group, Private Equity Group and Real Estate Group. The Credit Group segment offers credit strategies across the liquid and illiquid spectrum, including syndicated bank loans, high yield bonds, credit opportunities, special situations, asset-backed investments and U.S.

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