Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Liberty Tax, Inc. (TAX) to Strong Sell
Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Liberty Tax, Inc. (NASDAQ:TAX) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note released on Friday.
According to Zacks, “Liberty Tax, Inc. provides tax preparation services. Its principal operations are conducted through its subsidiary, JTH Tax, Inc. The company engages through its subsidiaries as a franchisor and operator of a system of income tax preparation. It facilitates its customer refund-based tax settlement financial products, such as refund anticipation loans, electronic refund checks, and personal income tax refund discounting. The company also offers online tax preparation services and finance to franchisees for the purchase of franchises, clusters of territories, company?owned stores and for working capital and equipment needs. Liberty Tax Inc., formerly known as JTH Holding, Inc., is headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “
Separately, ValuEngine lowered shares of Liberty Tax from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st.
Liberty Tax (TAX) opened at 13.80 on Friday. Liberty Tax has a 12 month low of $10.88 and a 12 month high of $16.19. The stock has a market capitalization of $191.57 million, a PE ratio of 14.76 and a beta of 0.92. The company’s 50-day moving average is $13.85 and its 200-day moving average is $13.96.
Liberty Tax (NASDAQ:TAX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 14th. The business services provider reported $2.23 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.42 by $0.19. Liberty Tax had a return on equity of 15.27% and a net margin of 7.25%. The business had revenue of $111.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $113.50 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.32 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Liberty Tax will post $1.22 EPS for the current year.
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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 23rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 13th will be given a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 12th. Liberty Tax’s payout ratio is 80.00%.
In related news, CEO John T. Hewitt sold 40,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $12.31, for a total value of $492,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,600,316 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,699,889.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael Piper sold 13,750 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $12.93, for a total transaction of $177,787.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 4,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $55,599. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 78,983 shares of company stock valued at $993,023. Insiders own 40.40% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in TAX. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Liberty Tax by 41.5% in the 1st quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 20,198 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $288,000 after buying an additional 5,919 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management increased its holdings in Liberty Tax by 8.6% in the 1st quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 193,398 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,755,000 after buying an additional 15,298 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in Liberty Tax by 5.0% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 159,346 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,271,000 after buying an additional 7,629 shares during the period. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd acquired a new position in Liberty Tax in the 1st quarter worth approximately $226,000. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in Liberty Tax by 4.4% in the 1st quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 18,876 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $269,000 after buying an additional 795 shares during the period. 45.95% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Liberty Tax
Liberty Tax, Inc is the holding company for JTH Tax, Inc The Company is a provider of tax preparation services. The Company provides retail federal and state income tax preparation services and related tax settlement products in the United States and Canada. The Company’s tax preparation services and related tax settlement products are offered primarily through franchised locations.
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