KBC Group NV lessened its stake in shares of Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE:NLSN) by 39.5% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 285,155 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 185,874 shares during the quarter. KBC Group NV’s holdings in Nielsen were worth $7,172,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of NLSN. Morgan Stanley increased its holdings in shares of Nielsen by 63.9% during the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 11,160,270 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $232,915,000 after acquiring an additional 4,349,119 shares in the last quarter. Ariel Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Nielsen by 44.2% during the fourth quarter. Ariel Investments LLC now owns 10,927,743 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $228,062,000 after buying an additional 3,348,224 shares during the last quarter. Credit Suisse AG boosted its position in shares of Nielsen by 5.8% during the fourth quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 10,581,741 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $220,841,000 after buying an additional 583,641 shares during the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Nielsen by 61.2% during the fourth quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 6,814,422 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $142,216,000 after buying an additional 2,586,463 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Nielsen by 0.3% during the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,705,064 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $119,057,000 after buying an additional 15,009 shares during the last quarter.

Shares of NYSE:NLSN opened at $25.73 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $25.59 and a 200 day moving average of $21.15. The company has a market cap of $9.22 billion, a PE ratio of -61.26 and a beta of 1.39. The company has a current ratio of 1.10, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.66. Nielsen Holdings plc has a 12-month low of $11.82 and a 12-month high of $26.74.

Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 25th. The business services provider reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.10. Nielsen had a positive return on equity of 22.28% and a negative net margin of 2.38%. The company had revenue of $1.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.63 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.41 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Nielsen Holdings plc will post 1.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 17th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 3rd will be issued a $0.06 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 2nd. This represents a $0.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.93%. Nielsen’s dividend payout ratio is presently 14.20%.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on the company. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Nielsen from $25.00 to $27.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised Nielsen from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 9th. Citigroup raised their target price on Nielsen from $22.00 to $27.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 28th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on Nielsen in a research report on Friday, March 12th. They issued an “overweight” rating on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised their target price on Nielsen from $18.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 19th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $24.60.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings Plc engages in the provision of global marketing data collection and analytics services. It operates through the Connect, Media, and Corporate business segments. The Connect segment consists principally of market research information and analytical services. The Media segment handles television, radio, online and mobile audience and advertising measurement, and corresponding analytics.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN)

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