Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $147.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 9.36% from the company’s previous close.
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.”
EFX has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Barclays PLC raised their target price on Equifax from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. Deutsche Bank AG raised their target price on Equifax from $125.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their target price on Equifax from $133.00 to $155.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $128.00 price target on shares of Equifax in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on Equifax from $131.00 to $143.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $140.11.
Shares of Equifax (NYSE:EFX) opened at 134.42 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.04 billion, a PE ratio of 35.00 and a beta of 0.87. Equifax has a 52 week low of $91.72 and a 52 week high of $136.97. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $132.32 and its 200 day moving average is $125.35.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last released its 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. Equifax had a return on equity of 24.51% and a net margin of 16.11%. The company earned $811.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $802.85 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.15 earnings per share. Equifax’s quarterly revenue was up 19.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Equifax will post ($0.47) earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, August 19th were given a dividend of $0.33 per share. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.98%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. Equifax’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.38%.
In other Equifax news, Chairman Richard F. Smith sold 120,000 shares of Equifax stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 264,796 shares in the company, valued at approximately $35,119,893.48. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider J Dann Adams sold 4,422 shares of Equifax stock in a transaction dated 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 approximately $7,745,736. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.01% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Equifax by 0.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,566,280 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,356,711,000 after buying an additional 87,377 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Equifax by 15.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,369,557 shares of the company’s stock valued at $946,251,000 after buying an additional 972,051 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Equifax by 1.0% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,723,812 shares of the company’s stock valued at $539,881,000 after buying an additional 46,146 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Equifax by 4.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,131,219 shares of the company’s stock valued at $530,448,000 after buying an additional 182,007 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in 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. Institutional investors own 88.64% of the company’s stock.
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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