Equifax (NYSE:EFX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Equifax reported mixed first-quarter 2019 results, with earnings beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues missing the same. Shares of the company have outperformed its industry year to date. Equifax’s offerings are of great importance to its customers as they use the credit information and related analytical services. We believe that a solid product portfolio and a clear understanding of the business services sector will keep Equifax improve its top line. The company has been active in strategic acquisitions and forming joint ventures to expand its business internationally. However, Equifax continues to bear the brunt of higher costs as it has increased its spending on technology after the last year's cyber-attack. Seasonality affects the company's revenue streams. High debt may limit the future expansion and worsen its risk profile.”

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on EFX. Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on Equifax from $125.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, February 22nd. Barclays reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $125.00 price objective on shares of Equifax in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Deutsche Bank cut Equifax from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $128.00 to $110.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BNP Paribas assumed coverage on Equifax in a research report on Friday, March 15th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $106.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Exane BNP Paribas assumed coverage on Equifax in a research report on Friday, March 15th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $106.00 price objective on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Equifax has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $121.27.

Shares of NYSE EFX traded up $0.31 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $119.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 13,845 shares, compared to its average volume of 914,389. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 0.57 and a quick ratio of 1.09. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.07 billion, a PE ratio of 20.55, a PEG ratio of 2.42 and a beta of 1.25. Equifax has a 12 month low of $88.68 and a 12 month high of $138.69.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last posted its earnings results on Friday, May 10th. The credit services provider reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $846.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $850.07 million. Equifax had a positive return on equity of 21.95% and a negative net margin of 10.23%. Equifax’s quarterly revenue was down 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.43 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Equifax will post 5.64 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its holdings in Equifax by 49.4% during the 4th quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 5,910,763 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $550,470,000 after acquiring an additional 1,954,808 shares in the last quarter. TCI Fund Management Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Equifax in the 1st quarter valued at about $193,639,000. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Equifax in the 4th quarter valued at about $102,210,000. Mackenzie Financial Corp increased its holdings in shares of Equifax by 44.5% in the 4th quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 2,764,891 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $257,494,000 after purchasing an additional 851,486 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Equifax by 91.9% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,581,017 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $147,240,000 after purchasing an additional 756,980 shares in the last quarter. 92.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Equifax

Equifax Inc provides 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 Global Consumer Solutions. The USIS segment offers consumer and commercial information services, such as credit information and credit scoring, credit modeling and portfolio analytics, locate, fraud detection and prevention, identity verification, and other consulting; mortgage loan origination information; financial marketing; and identity management services.

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