ETF pure play premiere

Wall Street loves pure plays.

A little while back we talked about the wave of spinoffs that were at hand.  Now Wall Street can drool over a pure play on the rapidly growing ETF industry.  WisdomTree Investments ($WETF) moved today from the Pink Sheets onto the Nasdaq making it investable for a big swath of the industry.

There are a number of publicly traded companies that sponsor ETFs including Blackrock ($BLK), State Street ($STT) and even Charles Schwab ($SCHW).  However WisdomTree is the only pure play on ETFs.  WisdomTree now becomes a valuation benchmark against which other ETF providers can measure the value of their own businesses.  The company will likely be a much rumored takeover target as mainline investment managers look to enter the ETF business.

Just because a company is a pure play does not mean guaranteed success.  When the CBOE ($CBOE) went public we thought it would maintain its premium valuation based on its scarcity value.  That call has not worked out to-date.

Murray Coleman at Focus on Funds has post up relaying a research note from Citi on WidsomTree.  Please note that WisdomTree reports earnings on Thursday.  Please note the stock is trading up on the day at new highs and is up substantially from its 52-week low of $1.75.

The bottom line is that investors interested in the ETF space should keep an eye on WisdomTree Investments because pure plays on rapidly growing industries are few and far between these days.

*No position in any stocks mentioned.

Update:  Bloomberg TV interview with WisdomTree CEO Jonathan Steinberg and Chairman Michael Steinhardt.

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