Morningstar Upgrades Analyst Rating for One U.S. Fund; Downgrades Seven Funds and One Target-Date Series; Affirms Ratings on 63 Funds in January

08 Feb, 2016, 12:24 ET from Morningstar, Inc.

CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has published a summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating™ activity for 78 U.S. funds and one target-date series that occurred in January 2016. 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 January, Morningstar manager research analysts upgraded one U.S. fund rating and downgraded ratings for seven funds and one target-date series. In addition, analysts affirmed ratings for 63 funds, assigned five new fund ratings, and placed two funds under review.

As of Jan. 31, 2016, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold to 130 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 264 funds, a Bronze rating to 331 funds, a Neutral rating to 292 funds, and a Negative rating to 19 funds. Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately 10 percent of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 58 percent of assets under management. Morningstar's manager research analysts rate about $8 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 70 percent of total investor assets in the United States.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in January 2016:

Previous Morningstar

Analyst Rating

Current Morningstar

Analyst Rating

Upgrades

Vanguard Market Neutral

Bronze

Silver

Downgrades

ASTON/TAMRO Small Cap

Silver

Neutral

Columbia Acorn International Select

Bronze

Neutral

Janus Aspen Balanced

Silver

Neutral

Janus Balanced

Silver

Neutral

Janus Flexible Bond

Silver

Neutral

Janus High-Yield

Bronze

Neutral

PIMCO Global Advantage Strategy

Bronze

Neutral

PIMCO RealPath™ Target-Date Series

Bronze

Neutral

New Ratings

AQR Style Premia Alternative

None

Bronze

Fidelity Conservative Income Bond

None

Bronze

Prudential Total Return Bond

None

Bronze

Vanguard US Value

None

Bronze

Wells Fargo Small Company Growth

None

Neutral

Under Review

Franklin Strategic Income A

Bronze

Under Review

PIMCO Municipal Bond Instl

Bronze

Under Review

A list of the Analyst Ratings for 63 U.S. funds that Morningstar affirmed in January is available here.

A summary of last month's Morningstar Analyst Rating changes for U.S. mutual 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 November 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 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 more than 110 manager research analysts worldwide who cover approximately 4,000 funds. The company provides data on approximately 195,000 open-end mutual funds, 9,600 closed-end funds, and 12,200 exchange-traded product listings as of Sept. 30, 2015.

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, and retirement plan providers and sponsors. Morningstar provides data on more than 500,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 17 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than $170 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Sept. 30, 2015. The company has operations in 27 countries.

Analyst Ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions. Analyst Ratings are based on Morningstar analysts' current expectations about future events and therefore involve unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause Morningstar's expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what was expected. Morningstar does not represent its Analyst Ratings to be 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; it should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the mutual funds noted within. 

©2016 Morningstar, Inc.  All rights reserved.

MORN-R

Media Contact: Nadine Youssef, +1 312-696-6601 or nadine.youssef@morningstar.com 

SOURCE Morningstar, Inc.



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