Wells doesn't see many 'obvious buyers' of LPL Financial
Wells Fargo analyst Christopher Harris found the Reuters article saying LPL Financial (LPLA) hired Goldman Sachs (GS) to explore strategic alternatives as a surprise. Recent actions by the company, including a levered stock buyback in December, would seem to suggest a focus on remaining independent, Harris tells investors in a research note. The analyst doesn't see "too many obvious" buyers of the company and thinks investors should not chase the stock on the Reuters story. A private equity transaction would be complicated by the fact that LPL is already fairly levered, the analyst contends. He keeps a Market Perform rating on the shares. JPMorgan this morning downgraded LPL to Neutral.