The firm's investment advisory results relative to our peers remain strong, with 64% of the T. Rowe Price funds across their share classes surpassing their comparable Lipper averages on a total return basis for the one-year period ending September 30, 2007, at least 73% of the funds surpassing their comparable Lipper averages for the three- and five-year periods ending on the same date, and 81% for the ten-year period. In addition, 82 of the T. Rowe Price stock and bond funds across their share classes, which account for almost 69% of stock and bond fund assets under management, ended the third quarter with an overall rating of four or five stars from Morningstar. These four- and five-star-rated investments represent 67.2% of our rated funds and share classes, compared with 32.5% for the overall industry. We continue to receive strong net cash inflows from our clients, reflecting our favorable portfolio performance.
Looking ahead, despite the recent market turmoil, we remain optimistic about the prospects for stocks over the longer term. We believe that the global economy will continue to grow at a reasonable rate and that the weakness in U.S. housing will continue to work its way through the system. Companies producing stable earnings growth will be afforded higher prices. In our view, this environment should favor our focus on selecting stocks with sound fundamentals and attractive valuations.
T. Rowe Price's strong capital position gives us substantial financial flexibility. In the third quarter, we used our strong cash position to repurchase 2.9 million shares of our common stock. Through the first nine months of the year, we now have expended $256 million to repurchase nearly 5.1 million common shares. T. Rowe Price Group remains debt free and we have cash and corporate investments of $1.7 billion at September 30, 2007.
~ James A.C. Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer and President, T. Rowe Price (TROW), "T. Rowe Price Group Reports Record Quarterly Results," October 23, 2007