Equifax Inc. (EFX) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research
Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $134.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 12.43% from the company’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Equifax is a leading provider of information services to individuals and businesses. Of late most of the estimates for Equifax have gone up on the back of an encouraging full-year earnings guidance, indicating 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 equities analysts have also recently commented on EFX. Jefferies Group lifted their price objective 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. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their target price on Equifax from $133.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their target price on Equifax from $131.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. RBC Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Equifax in a report on Monday, November 14th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their target price on Equifax from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. Equifax presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $140.40.
Shares of Equifax (NYSE:EFX) opened at 119.19 on Friday. Equifax has a 12-month low of $91.72 and a 12-month high of $136.97. The company has a market cap of $14.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.17 and a beta of 0.85. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $124.39 and a 200 day moving average of $128.42.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $1.44 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 in the previous year, the business posted $1.14 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Equifax will post $5.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 23rd will be paid a dividend of $0.33 per share. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 21st. Equifax’s payout ratio is 33.42%.
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In other Equifax news, Director Mark B. Templeton bought 3,400 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 4th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $123.64 per share, with a total value of $420,376.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 34,759 shares in the company, valued at $4,297,602.76. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director G. Thomas Hough bought 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 14th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $113.91 per share, with a total value of $113,910.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 5,307 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $604,520.37. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 2.01% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Trust Co. of Vermont increased its position in shares of Equifax by 370.0% in the third quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 740 shares during the last quarter. TLP Group LLC purchased a new stake in Equifax during the third quarter valued at $128,000. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC boosted its stake in Equifax by 14.1% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 956 shares of the company’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 118 shares during the period. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. purchased a new stake in Equifax during the second quarter valued at $123,000. Finally, Global X Management Co. LLC boosted its stake in Equifax by 56.2% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 981 shares of the company’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 353 shares during the period. 86.81% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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