Equifax Inc. (EFX) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Equifax is a leading provider of information services to individuals and businesses. Estimates for the company have been stable of late. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Looking at Equifax’s strong history of year over year revenue and earnings growth for the past several quarters, we believe that its strategic initiatives such as product innovation, expansion of data assets through acquisitions and continuous market share gains in North America region are aimed in the right direction. 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.”
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Jefferies Group raised their target price on shares of Equifax from $128.00 to $131.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Equifax in a research report on Monday, November 14th. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their target price on shares of Equifax from $142.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, October 28th. Barclays PLC increased their price target on shares of Equifax from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 21st. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG set a $145.00 price target on shares of Equifax and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 18th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $140.40.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) traded up 0.39% on Tuesday, reaching $119.66. 415,582 shares of the company traded hands. Equifax has a one year low of $91.72 and a one year high of $136.97. The company has a market capitalization of $14.33 billion, a PE ratio of 30.29 and a beta of 0.85. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $124.39 and its 200 day moving average price is $128.42.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $1.44 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.08. Equifax had a net margin of 15.87% and a return on equity of 24.73%. The firm earned $804.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $208.05 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.14 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 20.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Equifax will post $5.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 23rd will be paid a $0.33 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 21st. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.11%. Equifax’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.42%.
In related news, Director G. Thomas Hough purchased 2,000 shares of Equifax stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 28th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $123.85 per share, for a total transaction of $247,700.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 3,307 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $409,571.95. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider J Dann Adams sold 434 shares of Equifax stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $125.00, for a total transaction of $54,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 57,370 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,171,250. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.01% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in EFX. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Equifax by 0.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,566,280 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,356,711,000 after buying an additional 87,377 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Equifax by 15.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,369,557 shares of the company’s stock worth $946,251,000 after buying an additional 972,051 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Equifax by 4.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,131,219 shares of the company’s stock worth $530,448,000 after buying an additional 182,007 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Equifax by 9.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 3,653,137 shares of the company’s stock worth $491,639,000 after buying an additional 323,834 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Equifax by 8.6% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,505,304 shares of the company’s stock worth $321,681,000 after buying an additional 198,779 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.81% 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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