November 13, 2018

Morningstar Assigns New Analyst Ratings to Four U.S. Funds and Four Separately Managed Accounts; Upgrades Six Funds; Downgrades 12 U.S. Funds and One Separately Managed Account in October 2018

CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has published a summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating™ activity for 159 U.S. open-end mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and nine separately managed accounts (SMAs) that occurred in October 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 October, Morningstar's manager research group assigned new ratings to four U.S. funds and four SMAs. In addition, analysts upgraded ratings for six funds, downgraded ratings for 12 funds and one SMA, affirmed ratings for 136 funds and four SMAs, and placed one fund's rating under review.

"Diamond Hill Mid Cap earned an inaugural Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold for its exceptional team and disciplined framework," said Laura Pavlenko Lutton, Morningstar's director of manager research for North America. "Chris Welch and two additional portfolio managers work with the firm's two dozen analysts who perform rigorous, bottom-up research. They look for companies trading below their intrinsic values that offer promise over a five-year time horizon. Adding to this strong team and approach is a relatively cheap fee versus its mid-cap value Morningstar Category peers."

As of Oct. 31, 2018, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold to 160 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 346 funds, a Bronze rating to 590 funds, a Neutral rating to 683 funds, and a Negative rating to 18 funds. Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately five percent of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 69 percent of assets under management. Morningstar's manager research analysts rate approximately $11.8 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 61 percent of total investor assets in the United States.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in October 2018:


Previous Morningstar

Analyst Rating

Current Morningstar

Analyst Rating

New Ratings



Champlain Small Cap (SMA)

None

Gold

Diamond Hill Mid Cap Equity (SMA)

None

Gold

Diamond Hill Mid Cap

None

Gold

Loomis Sayles High Income Opportunities

None

Gold

Vaughan Nelson Value Opportunity (SMA)

None

Neutral

Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators

None

Neutral

NWQ Small Cap Value Equity (SMA)

None

Neutral

Natixis Vaughan Nelson Value Opportunities

None

Neutral




Upgrades



iShares Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF

Bronze

Silver

Fidelity Conservative Income Bond

Bronze

Silver

JPMorgan Core Plus Bond

Neutral

Bronze

PIMCO RAE PLUS

Neutral

Bronze

PIMCO StocksPLUS

Bronze

Silver

BlackRock High Yield Municipal

Bronze

Silver




Downgrades



AMG Managers Fairpointe Mid Cap

Silver

Neutral

Montag & Caldwell Equity (SMA)

Bronze

Neutral

LKCM Small Cap Equity

Bronze

Neutral

Lord Abbett Value Opportunities

Bronze

Neutral

MFS Diversified Income

Bronze

Neutral

Nuveen NWQ Small-Cap Value

Bronze

Neutral

Oberweis International Opportunities

Bronze

Neutral

Oberweis International Opportunities Institutional

Bronze

Neutral

Oppenheimer International Small-Mid Company

Bronze

Neutral

RBC Microcap Value

Neutral

Negative

Royce Premier

Bronze

Neutral

T. Rowe Price New Income

Bronze

Neutral

Fidelity High Income

Under Review

Bronze




Under Review



Voya Global Equity Dividend

Neutral

Under Review

A list of the Analyst Ratings for 136 U.S. funds and four SMAs that Morningstar affirmed in October 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 hereand for ETFs here. The Analyst Rating methodology for SMAs 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 approximately 4,315 funds. The company provides data on approximately 240,940 open-end mutual funds, 12,200 closed-end funds, and 16,150 exchange-traded product listings as of Sept. 30, 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 $207 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Sept. 30, 2018. The company has operations in 27 countries. For more information, visit www.morningstar.com/company. Follow Morningstar on Twitter @MorningstarInc.

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 a fund's or separately managed account's underlying securities' creditworthiness. This press release is for informational purposes only; references to securities or a separately managed account investment strategy in this press release should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities or to invest in accordance with that strategy.

©2018 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Mary Kate Marchesi, +1 312 348-3180 or marykate.marchesi@morningstar.com
Sarah Wirth, +1 312 244-7358 or sarah.wirth@morningstar.com

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