We have plenty of cash and investments on our balance sheet. I think we are in a good position to make acquisitions. That was a recent remark by Morningstar CEO Joe Mansueto to Reuters. Morningstar has $309.6 million in cash and investments on its balance sheet.
Mansueto also pointed to the recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar as another reason why he would be interested in making purchases, particularly overseas.
Growth may have come down a bit, but we are still in a growth mode, he added. We have a lot of open positions today at Morningstar, so we are still hiring people. We are not even looking at anything near layoffs.
Morningstar has been hot on the acquisition trail for the past two years, beginning with its purchase of Standard & Poors mutual fund data business in March 2007 for $55 million. Morningstar purchases a data, media and investor relations website this past January for $51.6 million from Ipreo Holdings.
Those acquisitions helped Morningstar deliver an 11.6% increase in third quarter net earnings, of $22.2 million, or 45 cents a share, up from $19.9 million, or 41 cents a share, from the year earlier.