Equifax (EFX) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Last year's cyber attack at Equifax, under which criminals stole highly sensitive personal data of approximately 143 million of its consumers, has heavily tarnished the brand image, reputation and credibility of the company. The company is facing huge customer criticism, while cybersecurity companies are questioning its preparedness and response to this massive data breach. Moreover, with lawmakers and investigating agencies probing the mishap, troubles for Equifax are unlikely to end any time soon. Notably, shares have underperformed the industry in the last one year. Nonetheless, we believe that management’s efforts, such as strategic initiatives for product innovation and expansion of data assets through acquisitions should act as tailwinds. Also, the company’s strong correlation with the consumer and financial markets, and exposure in the U.S. and Europe are likely to propel growth.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Equifax in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. Wells Fargo & Co raised Equifax from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $135.00 to $127.00 in a research note on Friday, September 22nd. Robert W. Baird reissued a “buy” rating and set a $137.00 price objective on shares of Equifax in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Evercore ISI reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $110.00 price target on shares of Equifax in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Barclays lowered Equifax from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $115.00 to $128.00 in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $128.67.

Equifax (EFX) traded up $1.06 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $123.22. The stock had a trading volume of 978,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,265,273. The stock has a market capitalization of $14,750.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.88, a PEG ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.95. Equifax has a 52-week low of $89.59 and a 52-week high of $147.02. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.67 and a current ratio of 0.67.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 9th. The credit services provider reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.49 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $834.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $847.28 million. Equifax had a return on equity of 24.45% and a net margin of 16.18%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.44 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Equifax will post 5.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in EFX. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its stake in Equifax by 18.0% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 476,674 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $65,498,000 after acquiring an additional 72,554 shares during the period. Bridgewater Associates LP purchased a new position in Equifax during the second quarter valued at $252,000. Amalgamated Bank lifted its position in Equifax by 56.3% during the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 14,051 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $1,931,000 after buying an additional 5,063 shares during the period. BT Investment Management Ltd purchased a new position in Equifax during the second quarter valued at $542,000. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new position in Equifax during the second quarter valued at $1,331,000. 95.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Equifax

Equifax Inc is a global provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments and consumers. The Company operates in four segments: U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), International, Workforce Solutions and Global Consumer Solutions. Its products and services are based on databases of consumer and business information derived from various sources, including credit, financial assets, telecommunications and utility payments, employment, income, demographic and marketing data.

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