Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Vantiv Inc. (NYSE:VNTV) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday. They currently have $63.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Vantiv, Inc. is an integrated payment processor engaged in providing advanced technology solutions for businesses and financial institutions. The Company operates in two segments: Merchant Services and Financial Institution Services. Vantiv offers acquiring and processing transactions, value-added services, merchant services and reporting for electronic payment transactions. It also provides card issuer processing, payment network processing, fraud protection, card production, prepaid program management, automated teller machine driving, network gateway and switching services. Vantiv, Inc. is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. “

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Pacific Crest set a $62.00 price target on Vantiv and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, September 15th. Jefferies Group reissued a buy rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Vantiv in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Wedbush initiated coverage on Vantiv in a report on Thursday, September 8th. They issued a neutral rating and a $60.00 target price on the stock. Susquehanna raised Vantiv from a negative rating to a neutral rating and raised their target price for the stock from $30.00 to $36.00 in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, Nomura reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $63.00 target price (up from $62.00) on shares of Vantiv in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $56.93.

Vantiv (NYSE:VNTV) traded down 0.67% during trading on Thursday, reaching $56.58. The company had a trading volume of 437,535 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $54.48 and its 200 day moving average price is $54.76. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 46.95 and a beta of 0.59. Vantiv has a one year low of $42.01 and a one year high of $59.62.

Vantiv (NYSE:VNTV) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $891 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $465.66 million. Vantiv had a return on equity of 36.56% and a net margin of 5.67%. The company’s revenue was up 13.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.56 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Vantiv will post $2.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Vantiv news, CEO Charles Drucker sold 3,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.00, for a total value of $216,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 555,515 shares in the company, valued at $31,664,355. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Matt Taylor sold 162,576 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.05, for a total transaction of $9,600,112.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 70,435 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,159,186.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Global X Management Co. LLC increased its position in shares of Vantiv by 153.5% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 1,972 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 1,194 shares during the period. Robecosam AG increased its position in shares of Vantiv by 68.9% in the second quarter. Robecosam AG now owns 2,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 1,020 shares during the period. Dividend Assets Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Vantiv during the second quarter worth $200,000. World Asset Management Inc purchased a new position in shares of Vantiv during the second quarter worth $214,000. Finally, Invictus RG increased its position in shares of Vantiv by 4,421.4% in the second quarter. Invictus RG now owns 3,798 shares of the company’s stock worth $215,000 after buying an additional 3,714 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.57% of the company’s stock.

About Vantiv

Vantiv, Inc (Vantiv) is a holding company. The Company conducts its operations through its subsidiary, Vantiv Holding, LLC (Vantiv Holding). The Company is a payment processor, merchant acquirer and personal identification number (PIN) debit acquirer. The Company operates through two segments: Merchant Services and Financial Institution Services.

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