Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Nasdaq (NDAQ) to Hold

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Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Nasdaq have outperformed the industry year to date. Nasdaq has been successful at maximizing opportunities as a technology and analytics provider and at the same time growing core marketplace businesses. It remains focused on growth via acquisitions and organic initiatives, thereby enabling its entry into new markets and gaining and cross-selling opportunities. It has also been ramping up non-transaction revenue base. Its strong balance sheet helps it to invest in growth opportunities and engage in shareholder-friendly moves. However, it has been witnessing elevated expenses, which limit margin expansion. High debt level induced increase in interest expenses. Both leverage ratio and interest coverage ratio compare unfavorably with the industry average. It estimates 2019 non-GAAP operating expenses in the range of $1.29-$1.33 billion. Nasdaq’s first-quarter EPS beat estimates but was down year over year due to lower trading activity.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Nasdaq from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. UBS Group raised their price objective on Nasdaq from $100.00 to $103.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Raymond James dropped their price objective on Nasdaq from $97.00 to $96.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, March 5th. Finally, Argus started coverage on Nasdaq in a research note on Wednesday, February 6th. They set a “buy” rating and a $97.00 price objective on the stock. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $97.92.

NASDAQ NDAQ traded up $0.28 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $91.04. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 24,497 shares, compared to its average volume of 783,664. Nasdaq has a twelve month low of $75.49 and a twelve month high of $96.84. The company has a current ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49. The company has a market cap of $15.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.77, a PEG ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.64.

Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The financial services provider reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.05. Nasdaq had a net margin of 12.67% and a return on equity of 14.60%. The business had revenue of $638.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $632.71 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.22 EPS. Nasdaq’s revenue was down 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts predict that Nasdaq will post 4.93 EPS for the current year.

In other news, EVP Thomas A. Wittman sold 13,561 shares of Nasdaq stock in a transaction on Monday, April 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.04, for a total transaction of $1,193,910.44. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Pc Nelson Griggs sold 1,339 shares of Nasdaq stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.24, for a total value of $120,831.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its stake in shares of Nasdaq by 1.4% during the 4th quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 14,022,974 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,143,854,000 after purchasing an additional 193,126 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its stake in Nasdaq by 0.6% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 12,105,807 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,038,679,000 after acquiring an additional 69,633 shares during the period. Findlay Park Partners LLP raised its stake in Nasdaq by 70.5% in the 4th quarter. Findlay Park Partners LLP now owns 1,875,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $152,944,000 after acquiring an additional 775,000 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Nasdaq by 10.4% in the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,759,963 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $153,733,000 after acquiring an additional 166,451 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in Nasdaq by 2.9% in the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,402,158 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $122,674,000 after acquiring an additional 39,265 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.65% of the company’s stock.

About Nasdaq

Nasdaq, Inc provides trading, clearing, marketplace technology, regulatory, securities listing, information, and public and private company services worldwide. The company's Market Services segment offers equity derivative trading and clearing; cash equity trading; fixed income and commodities trading and clearing; and trade management services.

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