Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Global Payments' shares have outperformed its industry year to date. The company incurred significant debt to fund the Heartland acquisition. This also pushed up interest expenses, which have dented the company’s bottom line. Further, an increase in interest expenses may reduce the company’s operating cash flow and could hinder its ability to fund operations, capital expenditures, acquisitions, share repurchases or dividends. Global Payments derives nearly 30% of its revenues from international operations, so it remains exposed to changes in currency exchange rates. Nevertheless, the company’s investment in future growth, efforts to progress with the Heartland integration and successfully refinancing its credit facilities bode well for the long term.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group restated an outperform rating on shares of Global Payments in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a buy rating and set a $90.00 price target on shares of Global Payments in a report on Friday, July 7th. Robert W. Baird restated a buy rating and set a $106.00 price target on shares of Global Payments in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Mizuho initiated coverage on shares of Global Payments in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. They set a buy rating and a $105.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a buy rating and set a $102.00 price target on shares of Global Payments in a report on Friday, September 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Global Payments presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $99.59.

Shares of Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) opened at 98.15 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $14.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 76.14 and a beta of 1.11. Global Payments has a 12 month low of $64.63 and a 12 month high of $99.15. The company’s 50-day moving average is $95.63 and its 200-day moving average is $90.15.

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The business services provider reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.07. Global Payments had a net margin of 6.65% and a return on equity of 18.32%. The business had revenue of $847.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $837.76 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.76 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 18.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Global Payments will post $3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th were given a $0.01 dividend. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. Global Payments’s dividend payout ratio is 2.45%.

In related news, Director Alan M. Silberstein sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.70, for a total transaction of $58,620.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 46,693 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,561,906.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Robert H. B. Baldwin, Jr. sold 4,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.87, for a total transaction of $377,454.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 195,477 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,567,517.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 141,749 shares of company stock valued at $13,421,277 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.93% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Sun Life Financial INC boosted its holdings in shares of Global Payments by 15,728.6% during the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,108 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 1,101 shares during the period. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Global Payments by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,197 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. Intellectus Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Global Payments during the 2nd quarter worth $128,000. Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its holdings in shares of Global Payments by 13.6% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 1,466 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 176 shares during the period. Finally, Stephens Inc. AR bought a new stake in shares of Global Payments during the 2nd quarter worth $143,000. 97.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Global Payments

Global Payments Inc is a provider of payment technology services. The Company provides payment and digital commerce solutions. The Company operates through three segments: North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Company’s segments primarily provide payment solutions for credit cards, debit cards, electronic payments and check-related services.

Analyst Recommendations for Global Payments (NYSE:GPN)

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