Shares in Standard Life Aberdeen (LON:SLA) have advanced in London in today’s session as UBS turned bullish on the company. Proactive Investors quoted the analysts as explaining that they felt that the asset manager’s valuation now more than reflected its challenges.
As of 12:48 BST, Standard Life Aberdeen’s share price had added 1.05 percent to 354.70p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.67 percent higher at 7,732.72 points. The group’s shares have lost more than eight percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.8-percent gain in the Footsie.
UBS sees SLA as ‘buy’
UBS hiked its rating on Standard Life Aberdeen from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’ today, hiking its price target on the shares from 405p to 385p. Proactive Investors quoted the analysts as explaining that while for the past three years they had “maintained a less-than-positive view on the group’s asset management business,” they believed that the upcoming “£1-billion B-Share Scheme and consequent £750-million open-market buyback will serve as a positive catalyst to SLA’s share price in the coming 3-6 months”.
The broker further pointed out that while it had concerns regarding the asset management business, it also believed that this was “more than priced in at the current valuation which is undemanding in our view”.
The comments are a boost for the FTSE 100 group, whose shares came under pressure last week as Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) announced that it was selling its remaining stake in the company.
Analyst ratings update
As of June 8, the consensus forecast amongst 17 polled investment analysts covering Standard Life Aberdeen for the Financial Times has it that the company will outperform the market. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip asset manager currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 467.54p.