(By Mani) T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW) is expected to benefit from its strong investment track record that will continue to drive net inflows, which have been largely positive for the last three years.
An analysis of T. Rowe Price's key equity and fixed income funds' performance over time suggest funds within both asset classes enjoy solid performance, with equity products doing especially well.
Founded in 1937, T. Rowe is a financial services holding company offering global investment management services to individual and institutional investors. T. Rowe has offices in the US and 13 countries around the world, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, Luxembourg and Singapore
Baltimore, Maryland-based T. Rowe is the only publicly traded asset manager that we are following that is not only producing positive net flows in active management quarter after quarter.
Though, its peers such as BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) are shifting towards "solutions-based investing" model, T Rowe could succeed due to its above-average returns for investors. In solutions-based investing, the providers offer asset allocation, risk management, and alternative, absolute-return, and passive investing strategies to clients.
"While the company's narrow strategic focus on pure investing prowess may leave it susceptible to market mishaps, we believe the company is better positioned than others to mitigate that risk due to its strong commitment to fundamental investment research and long track record of generally outperforming benchmarks," RBC Capital Markets analyst Eric Berg wrote in a note to clients.
T. Rowe management appears well aware of all of the major trends in investing including the rise of indexing and ETFs; the growing interest, among pension funds in particular, in absolute-return investing to generate favorable results in good stock markets and bad.
While T. Rowe has been extremely successful in the 401k area, and the company's target date funds, which represent $78 billion of its $555 billion in assets under management, have been an excellent vehicle for asset allocation for its 401k participants.
T. Rowe has decided to buck many of the other trends that seem to be all the rage these days in money management. For example, it offers index funds but does not market them aggressively. Only recently has T. Rowe filed to offer its first ETF.
It is not in the hedge fund business, its exposure to other alternative investment strategies is modest, and it has not promoted risk consulting or solutions nearly as heavily as, say, BlackRock in dealing with institutional clients.
The company focuses on intense, fundamental analysis of individual securities to deliver, one stock and bond at a time, superior investment performance. Moreover, the company does not want to revise a formula that has served it well not just over the years but over the decades
"We like this formula, believing that while most of money management, lacking T. Rowe's performance track record, will be headed in the new direction of providing solutions to clients, there will always be strong demand for money managers such as T. Rowe that, year in and year out, can deliver solid investment performance," Berg said.
While others have seen their investment performance swing widely over the years, including suffering from long periods in which their money managers sank well into the third and fourth quartiles of their peer groups, most T. Rowe portfolio managers show up consistently in the top half of their peer groups.
T. Rowe likes to cite the fact that while many of its competitors have been in net redemption mode for as long as they can remember, i.e. with more money flowing out than flowing in, it suffered only three quarters in the last 12 years when it was in outflow mode.
"The formula is not changing, so we have every reason to think T. Rowe's formula should work for it in the future, especially since industry data make clear to us that investors will always be searching for – and willing to entrust money to – investment managers who outperform," Berg added.