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Investment Managers to Report Earnings: AMP, IVZ, PFG, BEN

Amid concerns about China's growth and an overall challenging global economy, investors’ sentiments were weighed down at the beginning of 2016 which resulted in a huge drop in global risk assets. However, the U.S. markets have witnessed a rebound and have ended in the green at the end of the March quarter with the S&P 500 gaining 1.35%, a jump of over 12% post mid-February. Improving global economic sentiments, positive U.S. housing data and strengthening oil prices abated fears, lifting stocks around the world.

Though investment management (part of the broader Finance sector) has been performing decently over the last couple of years, the trends seems to be reversing of late. Meanwhile, institutional investors continue to park funds with investment managers while retail investors are refraining from putting in money just yet. Also, in spite of the introduction of new products to meet variable customer needs and the lowering of transaction fees, the industry as a whole has been witnessing net outflows. As a result, assets under management (AUM) for many investment managers are expected to decline or remain stable.

Moreover, investment managers are expected to be impacted by the strengthening of the U.S. dollar on AUM mix, given their global footprints.

Some investment managers, including Lazard Ltd. LAZ, BlackRock, Inc. BLK and The Blackstone Group L.P. BX, have released their results wherein the companies have missed estimates on lower revenues, thanks to market volatility.

Notably, per our Earnings Preview report, 9 of the 16 Zacks sectors are likely to register negative earnings growth in Q1, including Finance and Technology – the two biggest sectors in the index.

Let’s take a look at the four major investment management stocks that are scheduled to release their results this week.

Ameriprise Financial, Inc. AMP is less likely to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate as equity market volatility that triggered notable outflows in the Asset Management segment in the previous quarter is expected to get reflected in the upcoming announcement too. Moreover, costs associated with advertising and technology upgrades are anticipated to raise expenses for the company. Nonetheless, the Advice & Wealth Management segment is expected to record strong growth, driven by improved advisor productivity. Ameriprise is slated to release results after the market closes on Apr 27 (read more: Ameriprise Earnings: What's in Store for the Stock?).

Notably, Ameriprise surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimates in three of the trailing four quarters, as shown in the chart below:

Invesco Ltd. IVZ is slated to announce results before the opening bell on Apr 28. The company has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) with an">Earnings ESP of 0.00%, making it difficult to conclusively predict an earnings beat this quarter. Despite initiating a business transformation program, Invesco should witness a rise in operating expenses, given the continuous investment in franchise. Further, the continual strengthening of the dollar on AUM mix and management fees should exert pressure on the company. Nevertheless, Invesco is optimistic about institutional flows and expects continued organic growth in the quarter (read more: Invesco Q1 Earnings: What to Expect from the Stock?).

Meanwhile, Invesco has a positive average beat of 0.02% for the trailing four quarters, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the quarters as demonstrated in the chart below:

Franklin Resources, Inc. BEN, with a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, is also less likely to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in second-quarter fiscal 2016 (ended Mar 31). Given Franklin’s AUM disclosure for Mar 2016, the upcoming release will reflect lower AUM as well as net outflows. Also, the company’s continued investments in areas like strategic beta ETF, liquid alternatives and related solutions are likely to escalate expenses, affecting the bottom line. Nevertheless, the company’s top line should get support from its diversified portfolio offerings and global footprint (read more: What's in Store for Franklin This Earnings Season?).

Notably, Franklin recorded negative earnings surprises in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average negative surprise of 4.04%, as shown in the chart below:

Principal Financial Group Inc. PFG is set to report first-quarter results on Apr 28, after market close. Revenues are expected to improve in most of the segments. Notably, Individual Life, part of the company’s US Insurance Solutions segment, is likely to report growth in premiums and fees. However, a low interest rate environment is expected to have an adverse impact on the investment results of the company (read more: Principal Financial Q1 Earnings: A Surprise in Store?).

With respect to the surprise trend, Principal Financial posted positive surprises in two of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 1.21%, as shown in the chart below:

With tough economic environment and volatile markets, irrespective of an earnings beat or miss, investors should focus on the companies’ fundamentals and check our full write-up on earnings releases of these stocks later.

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
INVESCO LTD (IVZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMERIPRISE FINL (AMP): Free Stock Analysis Report
BLACKSTONE GRP (BX): Free Stock Analysis Report
FRANKLIN RESOUR (BEN): Free Stock Analysis Report
BLACKROCK INC (BLK): Free Stock Analysis Report
LAZARD LTD (LAZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
PRINCIPAL FINL (PFG): Free Stock Analysis Report
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