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Is Perpetual Limited in the bargain bin?

Shares in Australian financial services group Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT) are sitting at 52-week lows as brokers rush in to make valuation downgrades.

Morgan Stanley has an equal-weight rating on Perpetual, reducing earnings estimates and valuation by 10% and slashing its price target on the stock from $53 to $46.

Perpetual shares were at $41.44 at the time of writing, a significant slip from its $52.85 share price at this time last year with a steep downtrend notable in the past two months.

Morgan Stanley says the outlook for Perpetual should see global equities remain the growth option while the company improves on its business diversity.

This week Perpetual announced its latest Funds Under Management (FUM) were down $2.6 billion on the previous corresponding period to $30.2 billion at the end of March with market depreciation attributed to the decline.

Perpetual is struggling alongside peers such as Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF), whose shares have dropped from a $14.35 high in December 2017 to $11.11 at the time of writing.

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) remains a standout in the sector with shares up slightly to $104.33 at the time of writing.

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Motley Fool contributor Carin Pickworth has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Challenger Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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