Media stories about Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) have been trending somewhat positive recently, according to InfoTrie Sentiment. The research firm ranks the sentiment of news coverage by analyzing more than 6,000 news and blog sources. The firm ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative five to positive five, with scores closest to five being the most favorable. Legg Mason earned a daily sentiment score of 1.57 on their scale. InfoTrie also assigned news stories about the asset manager an news buzz score of 3 out of 10, meaning that recent news coverage is unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the immediate future.

Here are some of the news articles that may have effected Legg Mason’s score:

Shares of LM opened at $28.48 on Wednesday. Legg Mason has a 12 month low of $26.10 and a 12 month high of $47.13. The company has a market cap of $2.47 billion, a PE ratio of 7.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.50 and a beta of 1.72. The company has a current ratio of 1.77, a quick ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The asset manager reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by ($0.01). Legg Mason had a return on equity of 8.03% and a net margin of 11.81%. The business had revenue of $758.43 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $755.29 million. As a group, equities analysts predict that Legg Mason will post 3.28 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 14th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.34 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 18th. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.78%. Legg Mason’s dividend payout ratio is presently 36.56%.

Several research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $33.00 price target on shares of Legg Mason in a report on Monday, October 29th. Wells Fargo & Co lowered their target price on shares of Legg Mason from $39.00 to $34.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $37.00 target price on shares of Legg Mason in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $39.00 target price on shares of Legg Mason in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Legg Mason from $31.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $41.55.

In related news, insider Frances Cashman sold 10,058 shares of Legg Mason stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.61, for a total value of $317,933.38. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 72,937 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,305,538.57. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 4.33% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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About Legg Mason

Legg Mason, Inc is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides investment management and related services to company-sponsored mutual funds and other investment vehicles including pension funds, foundations, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, private banks, family offices, individuals, as well as to global, institutional, and retail clients.

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