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Mary KenefakeMary.Kenefake@morningstar.com
Morningstar Upgrades Analyst Rating for Seven U.S. Funds; Downgrades Four Funds; Assigns New Ratings to 62 Funds in March
CHICAGO, April 10, 2017—Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has published a summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating™ activity for 154 U.S. mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and three target-date series that occurred in March 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 March, Morningstar’s Manager Research Group upgraded seven U.S. funds and downgraded ratings for four funds. In addition, analysts affirmed ratings for 80 funds and three target-date series, assigned 62 new fund ratings, and placed one fund under review.

As of March 31, 2017, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold to 135 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 313 funds, a Bronze rating to 507 funds, a Neutral rating to 423 funds, and a Negative rating to 13 funds. Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately 9 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 $12 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 68 percent of total investor assets in the United States.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in March 2017:

Fund / Previous Morningstar Analyst Rating / Current Morningstar Analyst Rating
Upgrades
BlackRock Strategic Income Opportunities / Bronze / Silver
DFA US Large Company / Silver / Gold
Fidelity Overseas / Bronze / Silver
Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income / Bronze / Silver
T. Rowe Price Global Technology / Bronze / Silver
Vanguard Explorer / Neutral / Bronze
Western Asset Core Plus Bond / Silver / Gold

Downgrades
AllianzGI NFJ International Value / Silver / Bronze
Columbia Select Large Cap Growth / Bronze / Neutral
MFS Global Alternative Strategy / Bronze / Neutral
Virtus Foreign Opportunities / Bronze / Neutral

Under Review
BlackRock Basic Value / Bronze / Under Review

A list of the Analyst Ratings for 80 U.S. funds and three target-date series that Morningstar affirmed in March is available here. A list of the new Analyst Ratings for 62 U.S. funds that Morningstar assigned in March 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 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 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 4,170 funds. The company provides data on approximately 213,700 open-end mutual funds, 11,000 closed-end funds, and 14,000 exchange-traded product listings as of Dec. 31, 2016.

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 $200 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Dec. 31, 2016. 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.

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©2017 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.


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