June 22, 2018

Morningstar Assigns New Analyst Ratings to Five U.S. Funds; Upgrades Eleven Funds; Downgrades Ten Funds in May 2018

CHICAGO, June 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has published a summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating™ activity for 173 U.S. open-end mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and two target-date series that occurred in May 2018. 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 May, Morningstar's Manager Research Group assigned new ratings to five funds and upgraded ratings for eleven funds, including two funds to Gold from Silver, Harbor Bond and MFS Value. Analysts downgraded ratings for ten funds, affirmed ratings for 141 funds and two target-date series, and placed six funds under review.

"MFS Value was raised to Gold from Silver for the longtime managers' sound execution of a straightforward process. The fund's quality- and long-term orientation has been a strength, especially in down markets, and that process has delivered," said Laura Pavlenko Lutton, Morningstar's director of manager research for North America. "Also moving from Silver to Gold is Harbor Bond, which is subadvised by PIMCO. Our confidence in the fund's leadership has grown as the management team has handled outflows well and has successfully positioned the portfolio. This offering's reasonable price is especially compelling."

As of May 31, 2018, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold to 160 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 326 funds, a Bronze rating to 595 funds, a Neutral rating to 697 funds, and a Negative rating to 19 funds. Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately six percent of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 70 percent of assets under management. Morningstar's manager research analysts rate approximately $12.9 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 62 percent of total investor assets in the United States.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in May 2018:


Previous Morningstar
Analyst Rating

Current Morningstar
Analyst Rating

New Ratings



Fidelity International Capital Appreciation

None

Bronze

iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor International ETF

None

Bronze

Morgan Stanley Institutional Advantage

None

Silver

VY Clarion Global Real Estate

None

Bronze

VY Clarion Real Estate

None

Bronze




Upgrades



Alger Small Cap Focus

Bronze

Silver

BlackRock Dynamic High Income

Neutral

Bronze

BlackRock Multi-Asset Income

Bronze

Silver

Delaware Small Cap Value

Bronze

Silver

Harbor Bond Institutional

Silver

Gold

Hartford Equity Income

Bronze

Silver

MFS Value

Silver

Gold

Pioneer Select Mid Cap Growth

Neutral

Bronze

Schwab International Small-Cap Equity ETF

Neutral

Bronze

SPDR Portfolio Developed World ex-US ETF

Bronze

Silver

T. Rowe Price Equity Income

Bronze

Silver




Downgrades



AB Global Bond

Silver

Bronze

AllianzGI NFJ Dividend Value

Bronze

Neutral

Artisan International

Silver

Bronze

Artisan International Small Cap

Silver

Bronze

Fidelity Limited Term Municipal Income

Gold

Silver

iShares MSCI EAFE Small-Cap ETF

Bronze

Neutral

iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF

Bronze

Neutral

Morgan Stanley Inst US Real Estate

Silver

Bronze

Oppenheimer Global

Under Review

Neutral

Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap Index

Silver

Bronze




Under Review



Columbia Capital Allocation Moderate Aggressive

Neutral

Under Review

Columbia Capital Allocation Moderate Conservative

Neutral

Under Review

Columbia Capital Allocation Aggressive

Neutral

Under Review

Columbia Capital Allocation Conservative

Neutral

Under Review

Columbia Capital Allocation Moderate

Neutral

Under Review

Columbia Thermostat

Neutral

Under Review

A list of the Analyst Ratings for 141 U.S. funds and two target-date series that Morningstar affirmed in May 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 4,500 funds. The company provides data on approximately 233,200 open-end mutual funds, 11,100 closed-end funds, and 15,000 exchange-traded product listings as of March 31, 2018.

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 $201 billion in assets under advisement and management as of March 31, 2018. 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:
Sarah Wirth, +1 312 244-7358 or sarah.wirth@morningstar.com

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