Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $97.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 13.26% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Nasdaq have outperformed the industry year to date. It remains focused on growth through acquisitions and organic initiatives, enabling entry and cross-selling opportunities into new markets on a low-cost and highly-flexible platform. It displays prudence by accelerating its non-transaction revenue base. Nasdaq reviews its operations to accelerate the growth trajectory and intends to lower capital resources in business that do not offer considerable growth. A healthy balance sheet and cash position aid in de-leveraging the company, investing in its growth initiatives and engaging in shareholder-friendly moves. However, its elevated expenses restrict the desired margin expansion. Intense competition and regulatory issues remain key concerns. The company estimates 2018 non-GAAP operating expenses in the range of $1.375-$1.415 billion. Nasdaq’s fourth-quarter bottom line beat the estimates on higher revenues across segments.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. UBS reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $89.00 price target (up previously from $83.00) on shares of Nasdaq in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Wells Fargo upgraded Nasdaq from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $83.00 to $85.00 in a research note on Monday, February 12th. BidaskClub lowered Nasdaq from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. ValuEngine lowered Nasdaq from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Finally, Bank of America increased their price target on Nasdaq from $79.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $86.23.
Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.05. Nasdaq had a return on equity of 12.75% and a net margin of 18.49%. The business had revenue of $635.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $628.36 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.95 EPS. Nasdaq’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Nasdaq will post 4.82 EPS for the current year.
Nasdaq declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Monday, January 29th that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, Director Charlene T. Begley sold 4,017 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.37, for a total transaction of $326,863.29. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Bradley J. Peterson sold 19,169 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.70, for a total value of $1,546,938.30. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 32,214 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,599,669.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 42,837 shares of company stock valued at $3,442,932. Company insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Elkfork Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Nasdaq during the fourth quarter valued at about $620,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB grew its position in shares of Nasdaq by 4.4% during the fourth quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 36,564 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,809,000 after purchasing an additional 1,543 shares in the last quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. grew its position in shares of Nasdaq by 71.0% during the fourth quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 5,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $407,000 after purchasing an additional 2,200 shares in the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Nasdaq during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,766,000. Finally, Gotham Asset Management LLC grew its position in Nasdaq by 8.4% in the fourth quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 26,586 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,043,000 after acquiring an additional 2,053 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.50% of the company’s stock.
Nasdaq, Inc (Nasdaq) is a holding company. The Company is a provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, regulatory, securities listing, information and public company services. It manages, operates and provides its products and services through four segments: Market Services, Corporate Services, Information Services and Market Technology.
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