WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (WETF) has witnessed solid upward earnings estimate revisions for 2012 and 2013 over the last 60 days. On Oct. 26, this asset manager and the seventh-largest ETF provider reported strong third-quarter results and an impressive 50% earnings surprise. With long-term sales expected to grow 59.7%, this Zacks No. 1 Rank (Strong Buy) looks like a solid aggressive growth pick.
Remarkable Q3 Results
WisdomTree Investments reported third-quarter earnings per share of 3 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 50.0% and the prior-year quarter's earnings by 200.0%. Robust results were largely aided by augmented total revenue, partly offset by higher operating expenses.
Total revenue increased 22.1% year over year to a record $21.7 million, driven by higher ETF advisory fees. Yet, total operating expenses escalated 4.8% from the prior-year quarter to $16.9 million. Elevated compensation and benefits expenses and higher fund management and administration charges were the primary reasons for the overall rise in total expenses.
As of Sept. 30, 2012, ETF assets under management were $16.8 billion, up 50.1% from $11.2 billion recorded in the prior-year quarter, aided by higher inflows and positive impact from market appreciation.
Earnings Estimates Rise
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 rose 12.5% over the last 60 days to 9 cents per share as five of six estimates moved higher. For 2013, over the same time frame, the Zacks Consensus Estimate surged 8.7% to 25 cents with six out of seven estimates moving up.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 reflects year-over-year growth of about 341.7%, while the expected growth rate for 2013 is 178.2%.
Growth Comes at a Price
The triple-digit earnings growth doesn't come cheap. Shares currently trade at 70.3 times forward earnings, a significant premium to the peer group average of 18.4 times. Its price-to-book ratio of 17.4 is also at a substantial premium to the industry median of 2.9.
However, WisdomTree Investments has a trailing 12-month ROE of 30.0%, compared with the peer group average of 10.2%. This implies that the company reinvests its earnings more efficiently than its industry peers.
Chart Shows Strength
The share price line of WisdomTree Investments is expected to follow the continuously rising earnings estimate line.
Headquartered in New York, WisdomTree Investments conducts business as an exchange-traded funds sponsor and asset manager. Additionally, the company provides investment advisory services. Founded in 1985, it has a market capitalization of about $754.2 million.
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