Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $134.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 11.60% from the company’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Equifax is a leading provider of information services to individuals and businesses. Of late most of the estimates for Equifax have gone up on the back of an encouraging full-year earnings guidance, indicating that its growth initiatives are aimed in the right direction. Management’s efforts, such as strategic initiatives for product innovation, expansion of data assets through acquisitions and continuous share gains in North America, should prove to be tailwinds. Also, the company’s strong correlation with the consumer and financial markets as well as exposure in the U.S. and Europe are likely to propel growth, going ahead. However, stiff competition from peers and uncertainty in the mortgage sector pose concerns.”
A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on EFX. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $128.00 price target on shares of Equifax in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Stifel Nicolaus upped 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. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on Equifax from $125.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on Equifax from $133.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their price objective on Equifax from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $140.40.
Shares of Equifax (NYSE:EFX) traded down 0.01% during trading on Friday, reaching $120.06. The company had a trading volume of 366,358 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.39 and a beta of 0.85. Equifax has a 52-week low of $91.72 and a 52-week high of $136.97. The company has a 50 day moving average of $125.06 and a 200-day moving average of $128.38.
Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $1.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.08. Equifax had a return on equity of 24.73% and a net margin of 15.87%. The firm had revenue of $804.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $208.05 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.14 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 20.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Equifax will post $5.47 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 23rd will be paid a dividend of $0.33 per share. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.10%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 21st. Equifax’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.42%.
In related news, Director G. Thomas Hough acquired 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 28th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $123.85 per share, for a total transaction of $247,700.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 3,307 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $409,571.95. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Rodolfo O. Ploder sold 3,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.87, for a total value of $408,797.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 46,936 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,189,450.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.01% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Boys Arnold & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in Equifax during the second quarter worth approximately $291,000. Capital Analysts LLC increased its stake in Equifax by 324.1% in the second quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 76,941 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,977,000 after buying an additional 58,797 shares in the last quarter. Legacy Private Trust Co. increased its stake in Equifax by 21.5% in the second quarter. Legacy Private Trust Co. now owns 25,698 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,300,000 after buying an additional 4,542 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its stake in Equifax by 14.7% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 16,835 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,162,000 after buying an additional 2,160 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Creative Planning increased its stake in Equifax by 1.2% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 12,830 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,647,000 after buying an additional 152 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.30% of the company’s stock.
Equifax Company Profile
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.