Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MarketAxess Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:MKTX) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, the stock of MarketAxess Holdings’  outperformed the industry it belongs to. Its underwriting results have been consistently impressive driven by growth in revenues, improving trading volumes, ongoing investments in areas including Open Trading, launch of products and its strong market position in the U.S. credit. Also, it continues to benefit from its international business, with strength in both emerging markets and Eurobond spaces. However, it severely suffers from escalating expenses. The company’s operation is also hurt by stringent regulation of U.S and U.K. Intense competition remains another headwind.”

MKTX has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub cut shares of MarketAxess Holdings from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a buy rating and set a $205.00 price objective on shares of MarketAxess Holdings in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. increased their price objective on shares of MarketAxess Holdings from $216.00 to $219.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. MarketAxess Holdings has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $197.17.

MarketAxess Holdings (MKTX) opened at 180.77 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $6.79 billion, a PE ratio of 47.55 and a beta of 0.70. MarketAxess Holdings has a 12 month low of $145.10 and a 12 month high of $211.06. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $193.67 and its 200-day moving average is $192.23.

MarketAxess Holdings (NASDAQ:MKTX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.08. MarketAxess Holdings had a net margin of 37.46% and a return on equity of 30.38%. The company had revenue of $97.31 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $96.42 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.88 earnings per share. MarketAxess Holdings’s revenue for the quarter was up .7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that MarketAxess Holdings will post $4.11 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 24th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 10th were given a dividend of $0.33 per share. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.73%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 8th. MarketAxess Holdings’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.65%.

In related news, CEO Richard M. Mcvey sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $198.63, for a total transaction of $3,972,600.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,108,142 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $220,110,245.46. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 4.51% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MKTX. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of MarketAxess Holdings by 16,586.2% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,000,674 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $562,595,000 after purchasing an additional 2,982,691 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in shares of MarketAxess Holdings by 178.5% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 807,088 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $162,306,000 after purchasing an additional 517,309 shares in the last quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of MarketAxess Holdings during the second quarter valued at about $32,252,000. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of MarketAxess Holdings by 5.0% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,855,565 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $535,390,000 after purchasing an additional 134,735 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Baillie Gifford & Co. lifted its position in shares of MarketAxess Holdings by 5.1% during the second quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 2,752,949 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $553,618,000 after purchasing an additional 134,588 shares in the last quarter. 91.13% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About MarketAxess Holdings

MarketAxess Holdings Inc operates an electronic trading platform that enables fixed-income market participants to trade corporate bonds and other types of fixed-income instruments using its trading technology. Institutional investor and broker-dealer firms are users of trading platform, accessing global liquidity in the United States corporate bonds, emerging markets and high-yield bonds, European bonds, the United States agency bonds, municipal bonds, credit default swaps and other fixed-income securities.

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Analyst Recommendations for MarketAxess Holdings (NASDAQ:MKTX)

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