Analysts Marc Irizarry of Goldman Sachs and Douglas Sipkin of Wachovia Securities both lowered their recommendation for money manager BlackRock Inc. to neutral from buy. While praising BlackRock for an excellent job in navigating the recent credit crisis, Mr. Irizarry wrote in a client note issued today that the stocks recent strong outperformance has lowered its near-term prospects for continued relative gains. Since Goldman put BlackRock on its Americas Buy list Oct. 25, its stock is up 12.9%, compared to a 25% drop for its peers, Mr. Irizarry wrote. Mr. Sipkin, also in a client note issued today, came to a similar conclusion, writing we doubt that the level of outperformance is sustainable.
Deutsche Bank analysts Chris Spahr and Mike Mayo maintained their hold rating on BlackRock but lowered their earnings estimates for 2008 and 2009 due to the weakness of global equity markets.
In later-session trading today, BlackRock shares were down 6.03% at $207.11.
BlackRock spokesman Brian Beades wasnt immediately available for comment.