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Morningstar Upgrades Analyst Rating for Three U.S. Funds, Downgrades Seven Funds in May

Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced Morningstar Analyst Rating™ changes for several U.S. funds. The Morningstar Analyst Rating for funds represents Morningstar’s conviction in the fund’s ability to outperform on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. The five-tiered, qualitative Morningstar Analyst Rating scale has three positive levels, indicating Morningstar Medalists—Gold, Silver, and Bronze—in addition to Neutral and Negative ratings.

In May, Morningstar analysts upgraded three U.S. fund ratings, downgraded seven fund ratings, and assigned 18 new ratings. As of May 31, 2014, 158 U.S. funds had a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold, 291 funds had a Silver rating, 313 funds were rated Bronze, 350 funds had a Neutral rating, and 40 funds were rated Negative. Approximately 10 percent of mutual funds available for sale in the United States are currently Morningstar Medalists. Morningstar’s manager research team covers about $8 trillion of U.S. investor assets, which is equivalent to approximately 70 percent of total investor assets in the United States, as of March 31, 2014.

Morningstar upgraded the following U.S. mutual funds in May:
• BlackRock Basic Value Fund, upgraded to Bronze from Neutral
• Credit Suisse Commodity Return Strategy Fund, upgraded to Bronze from Neutral
• Wells Fargo Advantage Municipal Bond Fund, upgraded to Silver from Bronze

Morningstar downgraded the following U.S. mutual funds in May:
• Artisan Small Cap Value Fund, downgraded to Silver from Gold
• Eaton Vance Floating Rate Fund, downgraded to Silver from Gold
• Franklin High Yield Tax Free Income Fund, downgraded to Silver from Gold
• Litman Gregory Masters International Fund, downgraded to Silver from Gold
• Osterweis Fund, downgraded to Silver from Gold
• Schwab Core Equity Fund, downgraded to Neutral from Bronze
• Wells Fargo Advantage Short-Term Municipal Bond Fund, downgraded to Bronze from Silver

Morningstar assigned new Analyst Ratings for the following U.S. mutual funds in May:
• AllianzGI NFJ Dividend Value Fund—assigned new rating of Silver
• American Century Investments International Growth Fund—assigned new rating of Bronze
• Artisan Mid Cap Value Fund—assigned new rating of Gold
• Artisan Small Cap Value Fund—assigned new rating of Silver
• Fidelity Advisor® International Discovery Fund—assigned new rating of Bronze
• Fidelity Advisor® Mid Cap II Fund—assigned new rating of Bronze
• Janus Triton—assigned new rating of Neutral
• Loomis Sayles Small Cap Growth Fund—assigned new rating of Silver
• MFS® Global Equity Fund—assigned new rating of Gold
• Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Mid Cap Growth Portfolio—assigned new rating of Gold
• Mutual Global Discovery Fund—assigned new rating of Silver
• Nuveen Real Estate Securities Fund—assigned new rating of Bronze
• Oppenheimer Main Street Fund—assigned new rating of Bronze
• Schwab Dividend Equity Fund—assigned new rating of Neutral
• Templeton Global Bond Fund—assigned new rating of Gold
• Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund—assigned new rating of Gold
• Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund—assigned new rating of Gold
• Wells Fargo Advantage Asset Allocation Fund—assigned new rating of Neutral

A summary of last month’s Morningstar Analyst Rating upgrades and downgrades for U.S. mutual funds is available online.

Morningstar launched its Analyst Rating for funds and Global Fund Reports in November 2011. Morningstar Medalists—Gold-, Silver-, and Bronze-rated funds—are funds that analysts determine are likely to outperform their peer groups and/or relevant benchmarks on a risk-adjusted basis over a market cycle of at least five years. The differences between the positive Medalist ratings indicate the level of the analyst’s conviction in a fund’s future performance. Analysts arrive at a rating through an evaluation of five key pillars: People, Process, Parent, Performance, and Price. The Analyst Rating methodology is available here.