Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $147.00 price target on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Equifax is a leading provider of information services to individuals and businesses. Estimates for Equifax have gone up off late. Management’s efforts such as strategic initiatives for product innovation, expansion of data assets through acquisitions and continuous share gains in North America are encouraging. Apart from acquisitions, Equifax has remained enthusiastic about forming joint ventures that could expand its business internationally. The company expects its investments in the joint ventures to yield desired results and help it to register solid growth over the long term. Also, its strong correlation to consumer and financial markets, along with a broad U.S. and European exposure, is likely to propel growth, going ahead. However, stiff competition from peers and uncertainty in the mortgage sector pose concerns.”
Several other research firms have also issued reports on EFX. Barclays PLC upped their target price on Equifax from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. Jefferies Group boosted their price target on Equifax from $128.00 to $131.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on Equifax from $133.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price target on Equifax from $125.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price target on Equifax from $131.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $140.11.
Shares of Equifax (NYSE:EFX) opened at 133.33 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $132.35 and a 200-day moving average price of $125.40. The company has a market cap of $15.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.71 and a beta of 0.87. Equifax has a 12 month low of $91.72 and a 12 month high of $136.97.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $1.43 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $811.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $802.85 million. Equifax had a return on equity of 24.51% and a net margin of 16.11%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 19.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.15 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Equifax will post ($0.47) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a $0.33 dividend. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 17th. Equifax’s payout ratio is 34.38%.
In related news, Chairman Richard F. Smith sold 120,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.63, for a total value of $15,915,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 264,796 shares in the company, valued at $35,119,893.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider J Dann Adams sold 4,422 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.00, for a total value of $592,548.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 57,804 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,745,736. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.01% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Marietta Investment Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Equifax during the first quarter valued at about $1,645,000. Sentry Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Equifax by 9.2% in the first quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 7,448 shares of the company’s stock valued at $851,000 after buying an additional 625 shares during the period. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Equifax by 12.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd now owns 201,692 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,051,000 after buying an additional 22,549 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in shares of Equifax by 1.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 3,359,393 shares of the company’s stock valued at $383,945,000 after buying an additional 33,489 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Equifax by 10.0% in the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 552,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $63,089,000 after buying an additional 50,000 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.64% of the company’s stock.
Equifax Company Profile
Equifax Inc is a provider of 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 Personal Solutions. USIS provides consumer and commercial information solutions to businesses in the United States, including online information, decisioning technology solutions, fraud and identity management services, portfolio management services, mortgage reporting and financial marketing services.
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