Morningstar Assigns New Analyst Rating to 50 U.S. Funds; Upgrades Five Funds; Downgrades Eight Funds in December 2017

January 9, 2018 | By forimmediaterele | Filed in: Press Releases.

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CHICAGO, Jan. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has published a summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating™ activity for 133 U.S. mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and one target-date series that occurred in December 2017. 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 December, Morningstar’s Manager Research Group assigned new ratings to 50 funds and one target-date series. In addition, analysts upgraded ratings for five funds, downgraded ratings for eight funds, and affirmed ratings for 70 funds and one target-date series.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold to 145 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 328 funds, a Bronze rating to 600 funds, a Neutral rating to 679 funds, and a Negative rating to 18 funds. Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately 6 percent of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 60 percent of assets under management. Morningstar’s manager research analysts rate approximately $11.4 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 69 percent of total investor assets in the United States.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in December 2017:

Previous
Morningstar

Analyst Rating

Current
Morningstar

Analyst Rating

New Morningstar Medalists

American Beacon AHL Managed Futures Strategy

None

Bronze

American Funds Conservative Growth and Income

None

Silver

American Funds Moderate Growth and Income

None

Silver

American Funds US Government Securities

None

Bronze

Boston Partners Global Equity

None

Silver

Columbia Income Builder

None

Bronze

Credit Suisse Floating Rate High Income

None

Bronze

Davenport Equity Opportunities

None

Bronze

Hartford Total Return Bond

None

Bronze

JHancock Blue Chip Growth

None

Silver

PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active ETF

None

Gold

Prudential Muni High Income

None

Bronze

Prudential Short Duration Muni High Income

None

Bronze

Schwab Hedged Equity

None

Bronze

SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate ETF

None

Bronze

T. Rowe Price Institutional Large Cap Core Growth

None

Gold

USAA Growth and Tax Strategy

None

Bronze

Vanguard Global ex-US Real Estate ETF

None

Bronze

Voya Real Estate

None

Bronze

VY JPMorgan Mid Cap Value

None

Silver

WisdomTree Barclays Yield Enhanced U.S. Aggregate Bond

None

Bronze

Upgrades

American Funds Bond Fund of America

Neutral

Bronze

T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth

Silver

Gold

Vanguard Energy

Bronze

Silver

Vanguard FTSE Social Index

Bronze

Silver

Western Asset Core Bond

Silver

Gold

Downgrades

AllianzGI NFJ International Value

Bronze

Neutral

AQR Managed Futures Strategy

Silver

Bronze

Berwyn Income

Silver

Bronze

DFA Two-Year Global Fixed-Income

Bronze

Neutral

Eaton Vance Atlanta Capital SMID-Cap

Silver

Bronze

Fidelity Government Income

Gold

Bronze

Osterweis Strategic Income

Bronze

Neutral

Third Avenue Real Estate Value

Silver

Neutral

In December, Morningstar also initiated coverage on 26 funds that received an Analyst Rating of Neutral and three funds that received an Analyst Rating of Negative. A complete list of the new Analyst Ratings for 50 U.S. funds that Morningstar assigned in December is available here. A list of the Analyst Ratings for 70 U.S. funds and one target-date series that Morningstar affirmed in December is available here.

A summary of last month’s Morningstar Analyst Rating changes for U.S. funds is available on Morningstar.com in the latest Fund Spy: Medalist Edition 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.

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 120 manager research analysts worldwide who cover approximately 4,440 funds. The company provides data on approximately 225,200 open-end mutual funds, 10,900 closed-end funds, and 14,500 exchange-traded product listings as of Sept. 30, 2017.

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 $220 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Sept. 30, 2017. 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 the fund’s underlying securities’ creditworthiness. This press release is for informational purposes only; references to securities in this press release should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities.

©2018 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

MORN-R

Media Contact:
Mary Kenefake, +1 312 348-3089 or mary.kenefake@morningstar.com

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SOURCE Morningstar, Inc.

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