Morningstar Upgrades Analyst Rating for One U.S. Fund, Four Target-Date Series; Downgrades 11 Funds, Three Target-Date Series; Affirms Ratings on 57 Funds, Three Target-Date Series in February

Mar 14, 2016, 11:45 ET from Morningstar, Inc.

CHICAGO, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has published a summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating™ activity for 71 U.S. funds and 12 target-date series that occurred in February 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 February, Morningstar manager research analysts upgraded one U.S. fund and four target-date series ratings and downgraded ratings for 11 funds and three target-date series. In addition, analysts affirmed ratings for 57 funds and three target-date series, assigned two new fund and two new target-date series ratings, and placed two funds under review.

As of Feb. 29, 2016, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold to 126 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 241 funds, a Bronze rating to 384 funds, a Neutral rating to 279 funds, and a Negative rating to nine funds. Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately 9 percent of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 59 percent of assets under management. Morningstar's manager research analysts rate nearly $9 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 66 percent of total investor assets in the United States.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in February 2016:



Previous Morningstar
Analyst Rating

Current Morningstar
Analyst Rating

Upgrades



BlackRock LifePath® Index Target-Date Series

Silver

Gold

Fidelity Advisor Freedom® Target-Date Series

Neutral

Bronze

Fidelity Freedom® Target-Date Series

Neutral

Bronze

MFS Massachusetts Investors Tr A

Bronze

Silver

Russell LifePoints Target-Date Series

Negative

Neutral

Downgrades



AllianzGI Technology Institutional

Silver

Bronze

DFA One-Year Fixed-Income I

Silver

Bronze

Fidelity Freedom® Index Target-Date Series

Silver

Bronze

Fidelity® High Income

Gold

Silver

Franklin Strategic Income A

Bronze

Neutral

MFS Lifetime Target-Date Series

Silver

Bronze

PIMCO Emerging Local Bond Instl

Bronze

Neutral

PIMCO Emerging Markets Bond A

Bronze

Neutral

PIMCO Municipal Bond Instl

Bronze

Neutral

T. Rowe Price Instl Large Cap Growth

Silver

Neutral

T. Rowe Price New America Growth

Bronze

Neutral

T. Rowe Price Retirement Target-Date Series

Gold

Silver

Vanguard Capital Value Inv

Bronze

Neutral

Wells Fargo Common Stock A

Bronze

Neutral

New Ratings



Alger Capital Appreciation B

None

Bronze

Alger Capital Appreciation Ptfl I-2

None

Bronze

JHancock Retirement Choices Target-Date Series

None

Neutral

TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Institutional Target-Date Series

None

Bronze

Under Review



MFS Instl International Equity

Silver

Under Review

USAA International

Bronze

Under Review

A list of the Analyst Ratings for 57 U.S. funds and three target-date series that Morningstar affirmed in February 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 approximately 115 manager research analysts worldwide who cover nearly 4,000 funds. The company provides data on approximately 199,000 open-end mutual funds, 9,800 closed-end funds, and 13,000 exchange-traded product listings as of Dec. 31, 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 510,000 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 $180 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Dec. 31, 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 Contacts:
Carling Spelhaug, +1 312-696-6150 or carling.spelhaug@morningstar.com
Nadine Youssef, +1 312-696-6601 or nadine.youssef@morningstar.com 

 

SOURCE Morningstar, Inc.



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