Zacks Investment Research Upgrades S&P Global (SPGI) to “Hold”

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S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “S&P Global continues to benefit from growing demand for business information services. Acquisition acted as a key growth catalyst for S&P Global, helping it innovate, increase differentiated content and develop new products. Effective execution of management has resulted in significant amount of cash flow for the company. Despite such positives, the company remains vulnerable to proceedings, investigations and inquiries with respect to the ratings provided, leading to legal charges, damages or fines. Weak issuance in the U.S. and Asia is weighing on S&P Global’s Ratings revenue. The company operates in a highly competitive market of credit rating, research, investment and advisory services. Its shares have underperformed the industry in the past year.”

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. UBS Group downgraded S&P Global from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the company from $200.00 to $205.00 in a report on Friday, February 8th. ValuEngine raised S&P Global from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Morgan Stanley set a $193.00 price target on S&P Global and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. Atlantic Securities raised S&P Global from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $210.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, January 11th. Finally, Raymond James lowered their target price on S&P Global from $215.00 to $209.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $205.82.

Shares of NYSE:SPGI opened at $197.18 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $48.99 billion, a PE ratio of 23.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.35, a quick ratio of 1.44 and a current ratio of 1.37. S&P Global has a 1 year low of $156.68 and a 1 year high of $217.31.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The business services provider reported $2.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.20 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $1.54 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.60 billion. S&P Global had a return on equity of 367.09% and a net margin of 31.30%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.85 earnings per share. On average, research analysts predict that S&P Global will post 9.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CFO Ewout L. Steenbergen sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $194.20, for a total value of $776,800.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 5,239 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,017,413.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Alexander Matturri, Jr. sold 1,791 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $195.74, for a total value of $350,570.34. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 17,354 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,396,871.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Elite Wealth Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of S&P Global by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Elite Wealth Management Inc. now owns 7,058 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,199,000 after buying an additional 72 shares during the period. Wedbush Securities Inc. grew its position in shares of S&P Global by 3.7% during the fourth quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 2,197 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $373,000 after purchasing an additional 79 shares in the last quarter. Kalos Management Inc. grew its position in shares of S&P Global by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Kalos Management Inc. now owns 5,433 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $923,000 after purchasing an additional 88 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its position in shares of S&P Global by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 8,373 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,423,000 after purchasing an additional 89 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Natixis Advisors L.P. grew its position in shares of S&P Global by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. now owns 13,777 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,341,000 after purchasing an additional 92 shares in the last quarter. 84.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

S&P Global Company Profile

S&P Global Inc provides independent ratings, benchmarks, analytics, and data to the capital and commodity markets worldwide. It operates through three segments: Ratings, Market and Commodities Intelligence, and S&P Dow Jones Indices. The Ratings segment provides credit ratings, research, and analytics to investors, issuers, and other market participants.

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