S&P Global Inc. (SPGI) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday, July 17th. The brokerage currently has $167.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “S&P Global shares have outperformed the Business Information Services industry over the past three months. The company completed the acquisition of SNL Financial for $2.2 billion. SNL Financial is a strategic fit for S&P Global as its business is in sync with the S&P Capital IQ and Platts businesses, which will help the latter to avail cost cuts and revenue synergies. The company continues to impress investors by beating earnings for the 16th consecutive quarter. S&P Global’s strategic portfolio restructuring and focus on core business will continue to drive growth, going forward. This apart, strategic acquisitions and positive industry trends like surge of new high-yield bonds and leveraged loans, fuelled by tight interest-rate spreads, augur well for long-term growth. However, its performance is likely to be hurt by lower volume of debt securities issued in the capital markets.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on SPGI. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised S&P Global from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $143.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, April 17th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an overweight rating and issued a $153.00 price objective (up previously from $139.00) on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Wednesday, April 26th. Argus reissued a buy rating and issued a $158.00 price objective (up previously from $150.00) on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Monday, May 29th. Barclays PLC raised their price objective on S&P Global from $150.00 to $155.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued an equal weight rating and issued a $146.00 price objective (up previously from $145.00) on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $153.82.

S&P Global (NYSE SPGI) traded up 0.05% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $148.41. 951,260 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. S&P Global has a 12 month low of $107.21 and a 12 month high of $158.35. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $149.99 and its 200 day moving average price is $137.44. The stock has a market capitalization of $38.14 billion, a PE ratio of 17.29 and a beta of 1.52.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The business services provider reported $1.72 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.15. S&P Global had a return on equity of 202.37% and a net margin of 38.78%. The firm had revenue of $1.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.46 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.44 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that S&P Global will post $6.34 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Investors of record on Monday, August 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 24th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.11%. S&P Global’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 19.16%.

In other S&P Global news, Director Marco Alvera purchased 400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 30th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $140.09 per share, for a total transaction of $56,036.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $56,036. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Advisory Services Network LLC acquired a new stake in shares of S&P Global during the first quarter worth approximately $101,000. American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in S&P Global during the first quarter worth about $103,000. Penserra Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in S&P Global during the second quarter worth about $106,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new stake in S&P Global during the first quarter worth about $125,000. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in S&P Global by 1.0% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 999 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.62% of the company’s stock.

About S&P Global

S&P Global Inc, formerly McGraw Hill Financial Inc, is a provider of ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Ratings, which provides credit ratings, research and analytics to investors, issuers and other market participants; Market and Commodities Intelligence, which offers multi-asset-class data, research and analytical capabilities that integrate cross-asset analytics and desktop services, and deliver their customers in the commodity and energy markets access to information, data, analytic services and pricing and benchmarks, and S&P Dow Jones Indices (Indices), which is an index provider that maintains a range of valuation and index benchmarks for investment advisors, wealth managers and institutional investors.

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