Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) to “Buy”

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $78.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 11.67% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Successful integration of acquisitions, achievement of cost synergies and reduced debt level well poise Intercontinental Exchange for long term growth. Also, continued strength in its energy franchise, increasing recurring market data revenues and ongoing initiatives should keep growth on track. For 2017, management expects data services revenues to increase at least 6% in constant currency. The company remains on track to return $1.4 billion in capital to shareholders in 2017. However, foreign currency fluctuations and stricter regulations raise concerns. Also, the company estimates fourth-quarter expenses in the range of $475-$485 million with interest expenses to be $50 million for fourth-quarter 2017, respectively. Shares of Intercontinental Exchange have underperformed the industry in a year's time.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Barclays assumed coverage on shares of Intercontinental Exchange in a report on Friday, September 8th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $72.00 price target on the stock. Citigroup lifted their price target on shares of Intercontinental Exchange from $67.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price target on shares of Intercontinental Exchange in a report on Sunday, October 8th. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price target on shares of Intercontinental Exchange from $65.00 to $73.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, UBS Group lifted their price target on shares of Intercontinental Exchange from $73.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Intercontinental Exchange presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $75.40.

Shares of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE ICE) traded down $0.71 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $69.85. 3,195,200 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,530,250. Intercontinental Exchange has a twelve month low of $55.79 and a twelve month high of $72.99. The company has a quick ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30. The firm has a market cap of $41,380.00, a PE ratio of 25.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 0.70.

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The financial services provider reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. Intercontinental Exchange had a net margin of 27.91% and a return on equity of 11.01%. The business had revenue of $1.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.14 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.64 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Intercontinental Exchange will post 2.95 EPS for the current year.

Intercontinental Exchange announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, November 2nd that allows the company to buyback $1.20 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase up to 3.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Jean Marc Forneri sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.68, for a total value of $565,440.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Vice Chairman Charles A. Vice sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.93, for a total transaction of $539,475.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 377,471 shares in the company, valued at $27,151,489.03. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 40,500 shares of company stock worth $2,833,415 over the last three months. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ICE. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. grew its position in Intercontinental Exchange by 2.2% during the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,517 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 32 shares during the period. IHT Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Intercontinental Exchange by 10.8% in the second quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 185 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 18 shares in the last quarter. Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Intercontinental Exchange in the third quarter worth about $145,000. Savant Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Intercontinental Exchange in the third quarter worth about $206,000. Finally, Geneva Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Intercontinental Exchange in the third quarter worth about $206,000. 89.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Intercontinental Exchange

Intercontinental Exchange Inc, formerly IntercontinentalExchange Group, Inc, is a network of regulated exchanges and clearing houses for financial and commodity markets. The Company delivers transparent and accessible data, technology and risk management services to markets around the world through its portfolio of exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, ICE Futures, Liffe and Euronext.

Analyst Recommendations for Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE)

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