S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The firm presently has a $135.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.58% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “S&P Global continues to impress investors with better-than-expected earnings for the 15th consecutive quarter. Further, the company surpassed the revenues estimate for the second straight quarter with strong performances across S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence. The company raised its 2016 earnings guidance on the back of healthy growth dynamics. S&P Global is now focusing on its core business that would help it emerge as a leader among rating providers, benchmark providers, and analytics in the global capital and commodity markets. The accretive acquisition of SNL Financial also augurs well for the long-term growth of the company. Over the years, the company has consistently returned significant cash to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. However, financial distress could either dent investor’s demand for debt securities or make issuers reluctant to issue such securities.”

Several other research firms also recently commented on SPGI. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating on shares of S&P Global in a report on Friday, August 19th. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on S&P Global from $115.00 to $140.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Argus increased their price objective on S&P Global from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 17th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $131.00 price objective on shares of S&P Global in a report on Sunday, November 20th. Finally, Macquarie initiated coverage on S&P Global in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $140.00 price objective for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $131.86.

Analyst Recommendations for S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI)

Shares of S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) opened at 118.40 on Friday. S&P Global has a 1-year low of $78.55 and a 1-year high of $128.40. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $122.85 and its 200-day moving average is $117.96. The firm has a market cap of $30.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.46 and a beta of 1.50.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $1.43 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.34 by $0.09. S&P Global had a return on equity of 378.19% and a net margin of 32.24%. The firm earned $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.42 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.19 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that S&P Global will post $5.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 12th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.36 per share. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 23rd. S&P Global’s dividend payout ratio is 21.15%.

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In other S&P Global news, SVP Nancy Luquette sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.08, for a total transaction of $61,540.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 133 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,369.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.60% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its position in S&P Global by 1.3% in the third quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 1,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $178,000 after buying an additional 18 shares during the last quarter. Capital One National Association boosted its position in S&P Global by 0.3% in the third quarter. Capital One National Association now owns 5,523 shares of the company’s stock valued at $699,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. FOURPOINTS Investment Managers S.A.S. boosted its position in S&P Global by 0.3% in the third quarter. FOURPOINTS Investment Managers S.A.S. now owns 5,850 shares of the company’s stock valued at $740,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Intrust Bank NA boosted its position in S&P Global by 1.6% in the third quarter. Intrust Bank NA now owns 2,288 shares of the company’s stock valued at $290,000 after buying an additional 36 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Highland Capital Management LLC boosted its position in S&P Global by 1.1% in the third quarter. Highland Capital Management LLC now owns 7,977 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,010,000 after buying an additional 85 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.21% of the company’s stock.

S&P Global Company Profile

S&P Global Inc, formerly McGraw Hill Financial, Inc, is a provider of transparent and independent ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets across the world. The Company’s products cater to the capital markets, which includes asset managers, investment banks, commercial banks, exchanges and issuers; the commodities markets, which includes producers, traders and intermediaries within energy, metals, petrochemicals and agriculture, and the commercial markets, which includes professionals and corporate executives within automotive and marketing/research information services.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SPGI

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