MarketAxess (MKTX) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MarketAxess (NASDAQ:MKTX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday. They currently have $246.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “MarketAxess Holdings’ earnings per share of $1.02 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.7% and was up 13.3% year over year. Strong results were driven by gains across core products, higher market trading volume and better Eurobond volumes.  The company’s revenues have been consistently rising for the past several years on the back of a steady increase in commission. Its growth strategies such as acquisitions and alliances have also contributed to its top-line improvement. Its product suite of the highly demanded U.S. high-grade floating rate and other credit bonds are likely to broaden its scope for volume growth. Shares of the company have outperformed its industry’s increase year to date. Nevertheless, escalating costs remain a woe for the company for quite some time. Moreover, with the ongoing investments in several areas, the metric is going to mount higher in the upcoming quarters.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on MKTX. BidaskClub cut shares of MarketAxess from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, December 1st. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of MarketAxess in a research report on Monday, November 5th. They set a sell rating for the company. ValuEngine upgraded shares of MarketAxess from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 4th. Finally, Barclays restated a hold rating and issued a $198.00 target price on shares of MarketAxess in a report on Friday, October 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $211.63.

NASDAQ:MKTX traded up $0.78 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $222.77. 9,687 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 196,467. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 57.12, a PEG ratio of 9.86 and a beta of 0.09. MarketAxess has a one year low of $172.09 and a one year high of $229.84.

MarketAxess (NASDAQ:MKTX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $1.02 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $101.44 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $101.19 million. MarketAxess had a net margin of 37.97% and a return on equity of 29.40%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.90 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that MarketAxess will post 4.51 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 21st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 7th were issued a $0.42 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 6th. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.75%. MarketAxess’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.08%.

In related news, insider Kevin M. Mcpherson sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $216.89, for a total value of $542,225.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Richard M. Mcvey sold 23,842 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $211.93, for a total transaction of $5,052,835.06. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,054,986 shares in the company, valued at approximately $223,583,182.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.52% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MKTX. Sterling Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in MarketAxess during the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,245,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in shares of MarketAxess in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $761,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of MarketAxess by 3.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,411,494 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $674,996,000 after buying an additional 117,686 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in shares of MarketAxess by 11.0% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,253,683 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $223,770,000 after buying an additional 124,489 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of MarketAxess by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 13,842 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,739,000 after buying an additional 372 shares during the last quarter. 99.27% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About MarketAxess

MarketAxess Holdings Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates an electronic trading platform that enables fixed-income market participants to trade corporate bonds and other types of fixed-income instruments worldwide. It offers institutional investor and broker-dealer the access to global liquidity in U.S.

Further Reading: What Factors Can Affect Return on Equity?

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