Morningstar Assigns New Analyst Ratings to Five U.S. Funds and One Separately Managed Account; Upgrades 10 Funds; Downgrades Three Funds in August 2018

By PR Newswire

Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has published a summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating™ activity for 131 U.S. open-end mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), two target-date series, and three separately managed accounts (SMAs) that occurred in August 2018. The Morningstar Analyst Rating for funds represents Morningstar’s conviction in the fund’s ability to outperform on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. The five-tiered, qualitative Morningstar Analyst Rating scale has three positive levels, indicating Morningstar Medalists—Gold, Silver, and Bronze—in addition to Neutral and Negative ratings.

In August, Morningstar’s Manager Research Group assigned new ratings to five funds. In addition, analysts upgraded ratings for 10 funds, downgraded ratings for three funds, affirmed ratings for 112 funds and two target-date series, and placed one fund’s rating under review. New this month, analysts also assigned new ratings to one SMA and affirmed ratings for two additional SMAs.

“We’re increasing the number of SMAs under analyst coverage, and we’re excited to introduce these accounts into our round-up of monthly ratings,” said Laura Pavlenko Lutton, Morningstar’s director of manager research for North America. “The Morningstar Analyst Rating for separately managed accounts extends Morningstar’s forward-looking, qualitative research capabilities for managed investments. Our approach to rating SMAs is consistent with the global research philosophy Morningstar applies to mutual funds and other managed investments.”

As of August 31, 2018, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating™ of Gold to 161 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 340 funds, a Bronze rating to 598 funds, a Neutral rating to 681 funds, and a Negative rating to 19 funds. Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately five percent of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 70 percent of assets under management. Morningstar’s manager research analysts rate approximately $13.4 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 61 percent of total investor assets in the United States.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in August 2018:

Previous
Morningstar
Analyst Rating

Current
Morningstar
Analyst Rating

New Ratings

Voya Russell Mid Cap Index

None

Bronze

Voya Russell Small Cap Index

None

Bronze

Fidelity Mid Cap Value

None

Neutral

Harbor Small Cap Growth

None

Bronze

PIMCO High Yield Spectrum

None

Silver

Vulcan Value Partners Large Cap Value (SMA)

None

Bronze

Upgrades

Columbia Mid Cap Index

Bronze

Silver

Fidelity Extended Market Index

Silver

Gold

Dreyfus International Bond

Neutral

Bronze

BlackRock Strategic Global Bond

Bronze

Silver

JPMorgan Small Cap Equity

Bronze

Silver

MFS Emerging Markets Equity

Neutral

Bronze

Laudus US Large Cap Growth

Bronze

Silver

JPMorgan Global Allocation

Bronze

Silver

PIMCO StocksPLUS Absolute Return

Neutral

Bronze

PIMCO StocksPLUS Small

Neutral

Bronze

Downgrades

Thornburg Limited Term

Bronze

Neutral

Touchstone Focused

Bronze

Neutral

Buffalo Discovery

Bronze

Neutral

Under Review

Harbor International

Silver

Under Review

A list of the Analyst Ratings for 112 U.S. funds, two target-date series, and two SMAs that Morningstar affirmed in August is available here.

Morningstar launched its Analyst Rating for funds and Global Fund Reports in December 2011. Morningstar Medalists—Gold-, Silver-, and Bronze-rated funds—are funds that analysts determine are likely to outperform their peer groups and/or relevant benchmarks on a risk-adjusted basis over a market cycle of at least five years. The differences between the positive ratings indicate the level of the analyst’s conviction in a fund’s future performance. Analysts arrive at a rating through an evaluation of five key pillars: People, Process, Parent, Performance, and Price. The Analyst Rating methodology for mutual funds is available here and for ETFs here. The Analyst Rating methodology for SMAs is available here.

To view a complete list and supporting analysis for Analyst Ratings for U.S. funds, please visit www.morningstar.com. Premium Members have access to a Morningstar Medalists screener, where users can sort funds by Morningstar Rating, Morningstar Analyst Rating, Fund Family, Manager Tenure, Expense Ratio, and other metrics. Morningstar’s Global Fund Reports, in-depth research reports that include a wealth of data and analysis, are available in Morningstar DirectSM, the company’s web-based global investment analysis platform for institutional investors, and in Morningstar OfficeSM, a global practice and portfolio management solution for advisors.

Morningstar has approximately 124 manager research analysts worldwide who cover approximately 4,350 funds. The company provides data on approximately 235,590 open-end mutual funds, 10,880 closed-end funds, and 15,170 exchange-traded product listings as of June 30, 2018.

About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the private capital markets. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, and real-time global market data. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than $203 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2018. The company has operations in 27 countries.

Morningstar’s Manager Research Group consists of various wholly owned subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc. including, but not limited to, Morningstar Research Services LLC. Analyst Ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions. Analyst Ratings are based on Morningstar’s Manager Research Group’s current expectations about future events and therefore involve unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause such expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what was expected. Analyst Ratings are not guarantees nor should they be viewed as an assessment of a fund’s or a fund’s or separately managed account’s underlying securities’ creditworthiness. This press release is for informational purposes only; references to securities or a separately managed account investment strategy in this press release should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities or to invest in accordance with that strategy.

This article provided by NewsEdge.