Does a Bank of America (Merrill Lynch) Downgrade Make Shares of Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) a Sell?

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Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) Receives a Downgrade

In a very recent research note revealed to clients and investors earlier today, Bank of America (Merrill Lynch) downgraded shares of Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) to a Neutral rating from their previous Buy rating. The firm currently has a $33.00 Estimated Target Price on shares. The Estimated Target Price from Bank of America (Merrill Lynch) indicates a possible upside of 8.52% from the last close price of the stock.

From a total of 18 analysts covering The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) stock, 17 rate it a ”Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 1 a ”Hold”. This means that 94% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $52 while the lowest target price is $33. The mean of all analyst targets is $41.19 with a 37.75% above today’s ($29.99) stock price. The Blackstone Group L.P. was the topic of 19 analyst reports since August 9, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Bank of America downgraded shares on December 8 to “Neutral” rating. Jefferies maintained shares with “Buy” rating and $40 target share price in a report from an October 7. Argus Research maintained BX stock in a recent report from October 27 with “Buy” rating. Deutsche Bank maintained the rating on September 18. Deutsche Bank has a “Buy” rating and a $43 price target on shares. Finally, Oppenheimer upgraded the stock to “Outperform” rating in a report issued on an October 16.

The stock decreased 1.38% or $0.42 during the last trading session, striking $29.99. Approximately 6.48 million shares of stock traded hands or 56.52% up from the average. Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) has declined 28.17% since May 6, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 27.37% the S&P500.

The overall sentiment of institutions has decreased to 1.25 in Q2 2015. Its down 0.20, from 1.45 in 2015Q2. The ratio fall, as 69 institutions have sold all the shares of Blackstone Group LP that they owned while 137 funds have taken shares off the table. 53 funds have purchased shares for the first time while 204 added to their positions. These institutions now hold 288.82 million shares or 3.08% less than the 297.99 million shares they owned in 2015Q2.

The Fund Toscafund Asset Management Llp currently is holding shares equating to 23.19% of its total portfolio in Blackstone Group LP representing a total of 2.13 million shares. Another fund,Walnut Private Equity Partners Llc, is holding a total of 565,500 shares equating to 14.61% of their holdings. Additionally, Gruss & Co Inc has a 132,500 share stake in Blackstone Group LP which represents 6.6% of their total portfolio. The Fund, Tiger Management L.L.C., based out of New York, has also built up a stake in the stock, which represents a total of 5.82% of their total portfolio. Finally Riggs Asset Managment Co. Inc., a fund which is based in the state of Pennsylvania reported a total holdings of 289,839 shares.

Insider activity is a very important aspect to track on any stock. Going back to February 26, 2015, shareholders of Blackstone Group LP have witnessed 0 insider buys, and a total of 2 sales equating to a net activity of approximately $1.11 million . Skero Kathleen sold 2,800 shares worth approximately $95,390. Tosi Laurence A sold 26,184 shares worth approximately $1.01M. Finley John G sold 12,000 shares worth approximately $506,160.

The Blackstone Group L.P. is a global alternative asset manager. The company has a market cap of $36.25 billion. The Company’s alternative asset management businesses include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, hedge fund solutions, non-investment grade credit, secondary funds and multi-asset class exposures falling outside of other funds’ mandates. It has 17.71 P/E ratio. The Company’s divisions include Private Equity, Real Estate, Hedge Fund Solutions and Credit.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. Their alternative asset management businesses include the management of corporate private equity funds, real estate funds, funds of hedge funds, credit-oriented funds, collateralized loan obligation vehicles (CLOs) and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services.” Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Blackstone Group LP (BX).

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