Alliance Data Systems Co. (NYSE:ADS) – Equities researchers at William Blair lowered their Q3 2018 earnings estimates for shares of Alliance Data Systems in a report issued on Monday, October 15th. William Blair analyst R. Napoli now forecasts that the business services provider will earn $5.99 per share for the quarter, down from their prior forecast of $6.05. William Blair also issued estimates for Alliance Data Systems’ Q4 2018 earnings at $6.71 EPS.

ADS has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research report on Tuesday, July 17th. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $261.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a report on Wednesday, July 18th. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a report on Monday, September 17th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $290.00 target price for the company. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, July 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $262.06.

Shares of NYSE:ADS opened at $213.05 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.25, a current ratio of 2.14 and a quick ratio of 2.12. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.46, a PEG ratio of 0.89 and a beta of 1.76. Alliance Data Systems has a 52 week low of $192.02 and a 52 week high of $278.33.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 19th. The business services provider reported $5.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $4.64 by $0.37. The firm had revenue of $1.97 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.93 billion. Alliance Data Systems had a net margin of 11.35% and a return on equity of 59.18%. The firm’s revenue was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $3.84 earnings per share.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. ValueAct Holdings L.P. increased its stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 3.5% during the 2nd quarter. ValueAct Holdings L.P. now owns 6,082,646 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,418,473,000 after purchasing an additional 205,246 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,164,367 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $737,931,000 after purchasing an additional 48,926 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 45.3% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,595,591 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $605,293,000 after purchasing an additional 809,427 shares in the last quarter. Parnassus Investments CA increased its stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 42.3% during the 2nd quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 1,245,000 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $290,334,000 after purchasing an additional 370,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 33.3% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 768,119 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $179,126,000 after purchasing an additional 192,056 shares in the last quarter. 93.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, CFO Charles L. Horn sold 16,035 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $232.58, for a total transaction of $3,729,420.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 28,688 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,672,255.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Bryan A. Pearson sold 3,424 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $231.67, for a total transaction of $793,238.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

Alliance Data Systems declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Monday, July 30th that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the business services provider to purchase up to 4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 19th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 14th were issued a $0.57 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 13th. This represents a $2.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.07%. Alliance Data Systems’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 12.47%.

Alliance Data Systems Company Profile

Alliance Data Systems Corporation provides data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions worldwide. It operates through three segments: LoyaltyOne, Epsilon, and Card Services. The company offers a portfolio of integrated outsourced marketing solutions, including customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, end-to-end marketing services, analytics and creative services, direct marketing services, and private label and co-brand retail credit card programs.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS)

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