It’s the old adage when it comes to the discussion on interest rates. It’s not a matter of if, but when. There may be a major difference this time. In the past after rates had been slashed and then needed to be raised, they were often raised very aggressively. This time it will be very slow and measured.
A new report from Jefferies points to the fact that history tells us rising rates will mean fixed income outflows. That may hurt some financial services stocks that have the most fixed income exposure, while others may benefit. The Jefferies team points to four stocks that should prosper in the rising rate environment, and all are rated Buy.
Affiliated Managers Group
This company reported outstanding first-quarter earnings, and the rest of the year looks solid as well. Affiliated Managers Group Inc. (NYSE: AMG) is a global asset management company that invests in boutique investment management firms called “affiliates.” These affiliates’ performance drives AMG’s own performance. AMG acts as a fund of funds for these entities.
The company also assists its affiliates in strategic matters, marketing, distribution, product development and operations. AMG holds equity stakes in its affiliates, along with the independent management, which is responsible for deployment of the funds and generating returns. The affiliates are identified based on their growth potential, with products focusing on global equities, emerging market equities and alternatives. AMG manages three distribution channels through its affiliates.
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With just over 10% fixed income exposure, the company is one of the least exposed in terms of assets under management, and the most levered to equity. That is fine in a rising interest rate environment, but it could prove a touch more volatile in a wicked market sell-off or an extended bear market.
The Jefferies price target for the stock is $248. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is higher at $263.38. The stock closed on Friday at $222.40 a share.
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