MarketAxess (MKTX) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of MarketAxess (NASDAQ:MKTX) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “MarketAxess Holdings’ shares have underperformed the industry in a year's time. While the company's growth strategy has led to noticeable top and bottom-line growth, escalating costs remain a significant headwind. Increase in total expenses has been weighing on the company’s margins from past some years. The  same is expected to rise over the coming quarters given its ongoing investments in several areas. The company continues to suffer from extremely benign market conditions. Credit spreads continue to trend lower and spread volatility remained at historically low levels. Very low market volatility create the difficult trading environment for the company's business. Nevertheless, the company’s revenues have been consistently growing primarily driven by persistent increase in commission (received on trading volumes). Its solid inorganic growth also remains a positive on the back of strong financial position.”

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Several other brokerages have also recently commented on MKTX. BidaskClub upgraded shares of MarketAxess from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Friday, March 16th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of MarketAxess from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday. Sandler O’Neill reiterated a hold rating and issued a $215.00 price target on shares of MarketAxess in a research report on Wednesday. Raymond James Financial reiterated a market perform rating on shares of MarketAxess in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, UBS cut shares of MarketAxess from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $214.50.

MarketAxess stock traded down $4.81 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $203.63. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 177,152 shares, compared to its average volume of 263,799. MarketAxess has a 12 month low of $171.45 and a 12 month high of $229.84. The stock has a market cap of $7,986.43, a PE ratio of 54.42 and a beta of 0.57.

MarketAxess (NASDAQ:MKTX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.01. MarketAxess had a net margin of 37.26% and a return on equity of 29.54%. The firm had revenue of $99.57 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $98.70 million. equities research analysts anticipate that MarketAxess will post 4.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director David G. Gomach sold 4,225 shares of MarketAxess stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.98, for a total value of $836,465.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 259 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $51,276.82. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Nicholas Themelis sold 5,400 shares of MarketAxess stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $218.11, for a total value of $1,177,794.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 57,927 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,634,457.97. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 55,125 shares of company stock worth $10,849,545 in the last three months. 4.02% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its stake in MarketAxess by 6.4% during the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 44,696 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,247,000 after acquiring an additional 2,703 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB grew its stake in MarketAxess by 6.1% during the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 10,347 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,909,000 after acquiring an additional 593 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in MarketAxess by 12.0% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 33,265 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,138,000 after acquiring an additional 3,568 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in MarketAxess by 4.2% during the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 127,576 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $23,540,000 after acquiring an additional 5,187 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in MarketAxess by 11.3% during the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 7,460 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,381,000 after acquiring an additional 759 shares in the last quarter. 99.81% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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MarketAxess Company Profile

MarketAxess Holdings Inc operates an electronic trading platform that enables fixed-income market participants to trade corporate bonds and other types of fixed-income instruments using its trading technology. Institutional investor and broker-dealer firms are users of trading platform, accessing global liquidity in the United States corporate bonds, emerging markets and high-yield bonds, European bonds, the United States agency bonds, municipal bonds, credit default swaps and other fixed-income securities.

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Analyst Recommendations for MarketAxess (NASDAQ:MKTX)

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