Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Equifax (EFX) to “Hold”

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Equifax reported mixed first-quarter 2019 results, with earnings beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues missing the same. Shares of the company have outperformed its industry year to date. Equifax’s offerings are of great importance to its customers as they use the credit information and related analytical services. We believe that a solid product portfolio and a clear understanding of the business services sector will keep Equifax improve its top line. The company has been active in strategic acquisitions and forming joint ventures to expand its business internationally. However, Equifax continues to bear the brunt of higher costs as it has increased its spending on technology after the last year’s cyber-attack. Seasonality affects the company’s revenue streams. High debt may limit the future expansion and worsen its risk profile.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Barclays reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $125.00 price objective on shares of Equifax in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “buy” rating and set a $119.00 price target on shares of Equifax in a report on Friday, February 22nd. BNP Paribas assumed coverage on Equifax in a report on Friday, March 15th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $106.00 price target for the company. Exane BNP Paribas assumed coverage on Equifax in a report on Friday, March 15th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $106.00 price target for the company. Finally, SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 price target on shares of Equifax in a report on Friday, February 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $121.27.

Shares of NYSE EFX opened at $121.55 on Wednesday. Equifax has a 52 week low of $88.68 and a 52 week high of $138.69. The company has a quick ratio of 1.09, a current ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02. The company has a market cap of $14.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.99, a P/E/G ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 1.25.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, May 10th. The credit services provider reported $1.20 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.01. Equifax had a positive return on equity of 21.95% and a negative net margin of 10.23%. The firm had revenue of $846.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $850.07 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.43 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Equifax will post 5.64 EPS for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans increased its stake in Equifax by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 5,257 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $490,000 after acquiring an additional 92 shares during the period. Utah Retirement Systems increased its stake in Equifax by 0.4% during the 4th quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 22,326 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $2,079,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares during the period. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System increased its stake in Equifax by 1.6% during the 1st quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 6,400 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $758,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares during the period. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its stake in Equifax by 1.9% during the 1st quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 6,660 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $967,000 after acquiring an additional 121 shares during the period. Finally, Securian Asset Management Inc increased its stake in Equifax by 1.2% during the 4th quarter. Securian Asset Management Inc now owns 12,338 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $1,149,000 after acquiring an additional 142 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.96% of the company’s stock.

Equifax Company Profile

Equifax Inc provides 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 Global Consumer Solutions. The USIS segment offers consumer and commercial information services, such as credit information and credit scoring, credit modeling and portfolio analytics, locate, fraud detection and prevention, identity verification, and other consulting; mortgage loan origination information; financial marketing; and identity management services.

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