Legg Mason [see profile]
received some more bad news Friday morning. Barron's
"Focus on the Funds" columnist Murray Coleman
and Wall Street Journal
"MarketBeat" columnist Mary Pilon
both reported that S&P
just lowered its rating of the Baltimore-based mutual fund firm from hold to sell.
The move may not surprise fundsters, as S&P reportedly downgraded Legg's debt to BBB last month [see The MFWire, 6/24/2011
"The big picture is that outflow trends remain persistent, even during periods when we've seen markets appreciate," lead S&P equity analyst Chris Maimone
told Barron's. "At the same time, they're trying to cut costs and become more efficient. They're pinched on both ends … Until we can see a more sustained growth story, I think the stock should be sold."
A Legg spokeswoman insisted to the WSJ that the fund firm's "shares remain a compelling value."
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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