March 21, 2013 at 09:18 AM EDT
Wells Fargo Upgrades Legg Mason; Raises Outlook (LM)

Wells Fargo reported on Thursday that it has upgraded global asset management company, Legg Mason, Inc. (LM).

The firm has raised its rating on Legg Mason from “Market Perform” to “Outperform,” and has increased its valuation range from $26-$30 to $38-$40. This price target suggests up to a 20% upside from the stock’s current price of $32.07.

An analyst from the firm commented, “our upgrade is driven by an improving flow and performance picture and seemingly universal cautiousness with the story which we think could drive upside surprises as less bad becomes good.”

Wells Fargo now sees FY2014 earnings of $2.25 per share, up from its prior estimate of $2.10 per share. FY2015 earnings are now estimated at $2.68 per share, from the prior estimate of $2.48 per share.

Legg Mason shares were up 19 cents, or 0.60% during premarket trading Thursday. The stock has increased 9.5% in the past year.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Legg Mason, Inc. (LM) have a 1.38% yield, based on Wednesday’s closing price of $31.88.

Legg Mason, Inc. (LM) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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