A top Wall Street analyst has downgraded the price of BlackRock stocks over his concerns about potential earnings losses for the investment management firm over its adherence to environmental, social and governance principles known as ESG.
Analyst Brennan Hawken, who works for private banking firm UBS and has been ranked as a top financial analyst, changed his rating for BlackRock stock from “Buy” to “Neutral” and cut his target for the company’s stock price from $700 to $585, according to a report last week from Barron’s.
Hawken said he downgraded BlackRock stock to “Neutral based on environmental pressure to earnings and risk from the firm’s ESG positioning,” the Daily Wire reported.
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has previously argued that companies should publicize its stance on social issues and focus on more than making money for investors. The company helped elect three climate-conscientious candidates to the board of Exxon Mobil, in which BlackRock owns a major stake.
In a letter to governors last year, Consumers’ Research warned about risks related to state pension funds invested in BlackRock due to the company’s close ties to China.
State officials are pulling pension funds from BlackRock, with the most recent announcement coming from South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis earlier this month, according to The Washington Examiner.