Shares of BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), the largest U.S. asset manager and parent company of iShares, the world’s largest ETF issuer, are up almost 44.5% year-to-date, but the stock may not be done delivering upside for investors.
Although the shares trade at “17.2 times the $17.82 analysts expect it to earn next year, one of the highest multiples of any asset manager,” reports Lawrence C. Strauss for Barron’s, “BlackRock could easily rise another 15%, helped by a diverse lineup of passive and active funds, strong cash flow, and a great management team led by CEO Laurence Fink.”
For the third quarter, BlackRock reported a 15% EPS increase to $3.88, meeting Wall Street estimates. The company also reported assets under management of almost $4.1 trillion. As Barron’s noted, BlackRock shares have easily outpaced rival asset managers such as T. Rowe Price (NasdaqGM: TROW) and Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN) in the past year.
A significant driver of BlackRock’s growth has been the iShares ETF business. While much has been made of Vanguard, the third-largest U.S. ETF issuer, supposedly pilfering ETF assets from iShares due to lower fees, iShares still has $648.4 billion in AUM. Vanguard has less than half that amount.
BlackRock is a behemoth in the institutional market, but as Barron’s notes, broadening appeal among retail investors is helping drive growth as well. That includes the iShares core suite of ETFs, which recently celebrated their first anniversary. [BlackRock Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary of Core ETFs]