Zacks Investment Research reissued their sell rating on shares of Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) in a report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Nielsen reported weak third-quarter results, owing to sluggishness in the U.S. Buy segment and unimpressive performance in the emerging markets. Further, the company’s continued investments in technology and infrastructure remain risks for margin expansion and profitability, going forward. Notably, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to on a year-to-date basis. Nevertheless, the company's improving performance in the Watch segment and benefits from Gracenote acquisition are positives for the company’s market share. Moreover, the company’s Connected Partner Program bodes well for improving clientele. Also, regular dividend payment and share repurchase reflect Nielsen’s financial strength and commitment to return value to shareholders. However, mounting competition in the digital space poses a major threat to the company’s market position.”

Several other brokerages have also commented on NLSN. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on shares of Nielsen from $40.00 to $38.00 and set a $30.76 rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Nielsen from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. Citigroup cut their price target on shares of Nielsen from $41.00 to $29.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, August 20th. Pivotal Research lowered shares of Nielsen from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $27.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Nielsen from a sell rating to a neutral rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $20.00 to $25.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $29.67.

Shares of NYSE:NLSN opened at $25.72 on Wednesday. Nielsen has a 12 month low of $20.53 and a 12 month high of $39.25. The company has a current ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 1.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.97. The firm has a market cap of $9.21 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.19, a P/E/G ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 0.88.

Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The business services provider reported $0.27 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.02. Nielsen had a net margin of 4.85% and a return on equity of 14.56%. The firm had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.58 billion. Equities analysts expect that Nielsen will post 1.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 5th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be given a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.44%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 20th. Nielsen’s payout ratio is currently 66.35%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. River Road Asset Management LLC grew its position in Nielsen by 35.9% during the 3rd quarter. River Road Asset Management LLC now owns 1,999,046 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $55,294,000 after purchasing an additional 527,936 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in Nielsen by 135.2% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 21,740,698 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $672,439,000 after purchasing an additional 12,496,283 shares during the last quarter. ING Groep NV purchased a new position in Nielsen during the 2nd quarter worth $465,000. Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in Nielsen during the 2nd quarter worth $537,000. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its position in Nielsen by 5.2% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,997,795 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $123,652,000 after purchasing an additional 198,492 shares during the last quarter. 95.57% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Nielsen Company Profile

Nielsen Holdings plc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an information and measurement company. It operates through Buy and Watch segments. The company provides media and marketing information, analytics, and manufacturer and retailer expertise about what and where consumers buy, read, watch, and listen.

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