Equifax, Inc. (EFX) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
According to Zacks, “The financial information services provider, Equifaxposted better-than-expected results for fourth-quarter 2016, which also recorded year-over-year growth.Moreover, its optimistic revenues and earnings guidance indicates that its growth initiatives are aimed in the right direction.Management’s efforts, such as strategic initiatives for product innovation, expansion of data assets through acquisitions and continuous share gains in North America, should prove to be tailwinds. Also, the company’s strong correlation with the consumer and financial markets as well as exposure in the U.S. and Europe are likely to propel growth, going ahead.Notably, the stock has outperformed the broader market in the YTD period. However, we expect the company’s investments in new initiatives to weigh on its upcoming quarterly earnings. Additionally, uncertainty surrounding IT spending and strengthening U.S. dollar are some concerns.”
Several other analysts have also commented on EFX. RBC Capital Markets set a $142.00 price target on shares of Equifax and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, January 21st. Robert W. Baird upgraded shares of Equifax from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and dropped their price target for the company from $135.00 to $130.00 in a research report on Monday, December 5th. Barclays PLC raised their price target on shares of Equifax from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, February 10th. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on shares of Equifax from $131.00 to $144.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Equifax from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $137.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, January 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $136.92.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) opened at 129.93 on Tuesday. Equifax has a one year low of $99.79 and a one year high of $136.97. The company has a market capitalization of $15.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.16 and a beta of 0.83. The company’s 50-day moving average is $121.22 and its 200 day moving average is $125.21.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 8th. The company reported $1.42 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $801.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $799.53 million. Equifax had a net margin of 15.54% and a return on equity of 25.18%. The firm’s revenue was up 20.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.14 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Equifax will post $6.04 earnings per share for the current year.
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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 3rd will be given a $0.39 dividend. This is a positive change from Equifax’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 1st. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.20%. Equifax’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.75%.
In other news, insider Rodolfo O. Ploder sold 3,341 shares of Equifax stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.74, for a total value of $400,051.34. Following the sale, the insider now owns 40,595 shares in the company, valued at $4,860,845.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 2.01% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Trust Co. of Vermont increased its position in Equifax by 370.0% in the third quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 740 shares in the last quarter. TLP Group LLC acquired a new position in Equifax during the third quarter valued at $128,000. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. acquired a new position in Equifax during the third quarter valued at $188,000. Ancora Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Equifax during the fourth quarter valued at $166,000. Finally, Vector Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Equifax during the third quarter valued at $201,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.41% of the company’s stock.
Equifax Inc is a provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments and consumers. The Company operates through four segments: U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), International, Workforce Solutions and Personal Solutions. USIS provides consumer and commercial information solutions to businesses in the United States, including online information, decisioning technology solutions, fraud and identity management services, portfolio management services, mortgage reporting and financial marketing services.
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