Zacks Investment Research cut shares of J2 Global (NASDAQ:JCOM) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of j2 Global have performed worse than its industry over the past month. Adding to its woes, the company reported lower-than-expected earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2017. Results were hurt by high costs. Operating expenses increased 35.4% on a year-over-year basis. Increased costs pertaining to sales and marketing primarily led to the substantial rise in operating expenses. Such high costs have the potential to limit bottom-line growth in future as well. We are also concerned about the company's high debt levels. In the fourth quarter, long-term debt increased 66.2% to $1 billion . Also, free cash flow decreased 8.9% year over year during the quarter. The pessimism surrounding the stock is reflected by the fact that the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 1.5% downward over the last 30 days. We are, however, impressed by the company's efforts to reward shareholders.”

JCOM has been the topic of several other research reports. William Blair restated an outperform rating on shares of J2 Global in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Robert W. Baird raised their price objective on shares of J2 Global from $94.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of J2 Global from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, DA Davidson began coverage on shares of J2 Global in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a buy rating and a $95.00 price objective on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $99.50.

J2 Global (JCOM) opened at $76.32 on Monday. J2 Global has a 52-week low of $70.27 and a 52-week high of $91.48. The company has a market cap of $3,598.23, a P/E ratio of 13.89, a PEG ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 2.34 and a quick ratio of 2.79.

J2 Global (NASDAQ:JCOM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The technology company reported $1.79 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.70 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $316.38 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $319.00 million. J2 Global had a net margin of 12.47% and a return on equity of 26.82%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 25.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.49 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that J2 Global will post 5.55 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 9th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 22nd will be paid a $0.405 dividend. This is an increase from J2 Global’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 21st. This represents a $1.62 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.12%. J2 Global’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 55.83%.

In other news, CEO Vivek Shah sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.63, for a total value of $232,890.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 748,232 shares in the company, valued at $58,085,250.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 5.15% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in J2 Global by 1.7% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,535 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $195,000 after buying an additional 43 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its stake in J2 Global by 0.6% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 105,338 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $8,964,000 after buying an additional 635 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in J2 Global by 11.6% during the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 6,514 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $481,000 after buying an additional 675 shares in the last quarter. Cardinal Capital Management boosted its stake in J2 Global by 8.6% during the third quarter. Cardinal Capital Management now owns 9,731 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $718,000 after buying an additional 767 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in J2 Global by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 114,289 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $8,575,000 after buying an additional 794 shares in the last quarter.

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About J2 Global

j2 Global, Inc is a provider of services delivered through the Internet. The Company provides cloud services to businesses of all sizes, from individuals to enterprises. The Company operates in two segments: Business Cloud Services and Digital Media. The Company’s Digital Media business segment consists of the Web properties and business operations of Ziff Davis, Inc (Ziff Davis).

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