Equifax Inc. (EFX) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research
Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Equifax is a leading provider of information services to individuals and businesses. The company posted better-than-expected results for the third quarter of 2016, which also recorded year-over-year growth. Moreover, its upbeat full-year guidance for earnings indicates that its growth initiatives are aimed in the right direction. Management’s efforts, such as strategic initiatives for product innovation, expansion of data assets through acquisitions and continuous share gains in North America, should prove to be tailwinds. Also, the company’s strong correlation with the consumer and financial markets as well as exposure in the U.S. and Europe are likely to propel growth, going ahead. However, stiff competition from peers and uncertainty in the mortgage sector pose concerns.”
A number of other brokerages also recently commented on EFX. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on Equifax from $131.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Jefferies Group upped their target price on Equifax from $128.00 to $131.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on Equifax from $133.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their target price on Equifax from $125.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating on shares of Equifax in a research note on Monday. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $140.70.
Shares of Equifax (NYSE:EFX) opened at 121.81 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $14.59 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.84 and a beta of 0.85. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $127.04 and its 200-day moving average is $128.34. Equifax has a 52 week low of $91.72 and a 52 week high of $136.97.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $1.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $804.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $208.05 million. Equifax had a return on equity of 24.73% and a net margin of 15.87%. The company’s revenue was up 20.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.14 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Equifax will post $5.46 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 23rd will be given a $0.33 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 21st. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.08%. Equifax’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.42%.
In other news, insider Paulino R. Barros sold 5,205 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.00, for a total value of $687,060.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 10,786 shares in the company, valued at $1,423,752. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider J Dann Adams sold 434 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $125.00, for a total value of $54,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 57,370 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,171,250. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.01% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in EFX. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company purchased a new position in Equifax during the third quarter valued at $146,412,000. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Equifax by 15.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,369,557 shares of the company’s stock valued at $946,251,000 after buying an additional 972,051 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. bought a new stake in Equifax during the second quarter valued at approximately $90,891,000. Columbus Circle Investors bought a new stake in Equifax during the second quarter valued at approximately $59,051,000. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its stake in Equifax by 116.3% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 645,261 shares of the company’s stock valued at $82,851,000 after buying an additional 346,973 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.80% of the company’s stock.
Equifax Company Profile
Equifax Inc is a provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments and consumers. The Company operates through four segments: U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), International, Workforce Solutions and Personal Solutions. USIS provides consumer and commercial information solutions to businesses in the United States, including online information, decisioning technology solutions, fraud and identity management services, portfolio management services, mortgage reporting and financial marketing services.
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