Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday. The brokerage currently has $135.00 price objective on the stock.

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.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $131.00 target price on shares of S&P Global in a research report on Sunday, November 20th. Barclays PLC raised S&P Global from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and lifted their price target for the company from $140.00 to $145.00 in a research note on Wednesday, September 21st. Macquarie started coverage on S&P Global in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. They set an outperform rating and a $140.00 price target on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a buy rating on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Argus lifted their price target on S&P Global from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. S&P Global 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 118.99 on Friday. S&P Global has a 1-year low of $78.55 and a 1-year high of $128.40. The company has a market capitalization of $30.83 billion, a PE ratio of 17.55 and a beta of 1.50. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $122.60 and its 200-day moving average price is $118.07.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $1.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 had revenue of $1.44 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.42 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.19 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that S&P Global will post $5.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 12th. Investors of record on Monday, November 28th will be paid a $0.36 dividend. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.21%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 23rd. S&P Global’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.15%.

In related news, SVP Nancy Luquette sold 500 shares of S&P Global stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.08, for a total value of $61,540.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 133 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,369.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SPGI. Bank of Stockton bought a new position in S&P Global during the second quarter worth approximately $373,000. Packer & Co Ltd acquired a new position in shares of S&P Global during the second quarter valued at about $33,904,000. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in shares of S&P Global during the second quarter valued at about $24,263,000. Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of S&P Global during the second quarter valued at about $2,578,000. Finally, Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX acquired a new position in shares of S&P Global during the second quarter valued at about $7,346,000. 86.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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.

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