S&P Global Inc. (SPGI) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $135.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 12.58% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “S&P Global continues to impress investors with better-than-expected earnings for the 15th consecutive quarter. Further, the company surpassed the revenues estimate for the second straight quarter with strong performances across S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence. The company raised its 2016 earnings guidance on the back of healthy growth dynamics. S&P Global is now focusing on its core business that would help it emerge as a leader among rating providers, benchmark providers, and analytics in the global capital and commodity markets. The accretive acquisition of SNL Financial also augurs well for the long-term growth of the company. Over the years, the company has consistently returned significant cash to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. However, financial distress could either dent investor’s demand for debt securities or make issuers reluctant to issue such securities.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating on shares of S&P Global in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Barclays PLC boosted their price objective on S&P Global from $115.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Argus boosted their price objective on S&P Global from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 17th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $131.00 price objective on shares of S&P Global in a research report on Sunday, November 20th. Finally, Macquarie assumed coverage on S&P Global in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $140.00 price objective on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $131.86.

Analyst Recommendations for S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI)

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) opened at 118.40 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $30.68 billion, a PE ratio of 17.46 and a beta of 1.50. S&P Global has a 12 month low of $78.55 and a 12 month high of $128.40. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $122.85 and a 200-day moving average price of $117.96.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $1.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.34 by $0.09. S&P Global had a return on equity of 378.19% and a net margin of 32.24%. The business earned $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.42 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.19 earnings per share. S&P Global’s revenue was up 8.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that S&P Global will post $5.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 12th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 28th will be given a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 23rd. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.20%. S&P Global’s dividend payout ratio is presently 21.15%.

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In other news, SVP Nancy Luquette sold 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.08, for a total transaction of $61,540.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 133 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,369.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 0.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SPGI. Vanguard Group Inc. bought a new stake in S&P Global during the second quarter worth about $1,918,874,000. FMR LLC bought a new stake in S&P Global during the second quarter worth about $1,791,074,000. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership bought a new stake in S&P Global during the second quarter worth about $837,221,000. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in shares of S&P Global by 9.2% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 7,438,903 shares of the company’s stock worth $941,468,000 after buying an additional 623,963 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC acquired a new position in shares of S&P Global during the second quarter worth $676,571,000. Institutional investors own 86.21% of the company’s stock.

About S&P Global

S&P Global Inc, formerly McGraw Hill Financial, Inc, is a provider of transparent and independent ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets across the world. The Company’s products cater to the capital markets, which includes asset managers, investment banks, commercial banks, exchanges and issuers; the commodities markets, which includes producers, traders and intermediaries within energy, metals, petrochemicals and agriculture, and the commercial markets, which includes professionals and corporate executives within automotive and marketing/research information services.

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