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Jefferies initiates coverage on Focus Financial Partners

Jefferies analyst Gerald O'Hara initiated coverage on Focus Financial Partners Inc., writing that the company's ability to drive long-term growth, offer resources and steadily increase earnings 20%-plus per annum is "unique and will drive de-leveraging."

Focus Financial takes equity stakes in growing registered investment advisers to scale and/or transition their practices, and O'Hara expects the company to remain a serial acquirer well into the future. The company partners with and acquires firms that have an "extremely sticky client base" and therefore stable-to-growing asset base. Although organic growth will remain volatile in the near term as Focus Financial scales, its platform is "unique and differentiated."

O'Hara initiated coverage at "buy" with a price target of $34. His EPS estimates are $2.30 for 2019 and $2.85 for 2020.