LivePerson (LPSN) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “LivePerson, Inc. is the leading provider of mobile and online messaging business solutions, enabling a meaningful connection between brands and consumers. LivePerson opens the new click-to-message ad extension to larger companies by adding three important dimensions. First, it tracks and distributes ad responses to teams that may be across geographies – essential for an ad campaign at a larger scale – and measures the results. LivePerson provides an optional, pay-for-performance team of people who can answer these SMS conversations and can handle many queries itself, or transfer them to in-house representatives where needed. LivePerson enables brands to manage message conversations from many media and communications channels in one solution and one workforce. This lets large advertisers scale without staffing pains, and has been shown to improve conversion rates when deployed. “

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on LPSN. Benchmark reissued a buy rating and set a $34.00 price target (up from $30.00) on shares of LivePerson in a research report on Thursday, March 21st. Jefferies Financial Group began coverage on shares of LivePerson in a research report on Monday, April 1st. They set a buy rating and a $36.00 price target for the company. BidaskClub raised shares of LivePerson from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on shares of LivePerson in a research report on Monday, March 25th. They set an overweight rating and a $39.00 price target for the company. Finally, Barclays began coverage on shares of LivePerson in a research report on Friday, March 8th. They set an overweight rating and a $27.45 price target for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. LivePerson presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $30.77.

Shares of LivePerson stock traded down $1.38 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $28.54. The company had a trading volume of 54,353 shares, compared to its average volume of 666,258. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.90 billion, a P/E ratio of -124.13 and a beta of 1.16. LivePerson has a 12-month low of $16.15 and a 12-month high of $30.28.

LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 21st. The technology company reported ($0.05) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.03) by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $65.72 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $64.91 million. LivePerson had a negative net margin of 10.02% and a negative return on equity of 5.56%. As a group, analysts anticipate that LivePerson will post -0.48 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CFO Christopher E. Greiner sold 5,033 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.66, for a total transaction of $149,278.78. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Monica L. Greenberg sold 1,424 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Saturday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.82, for a total transaction of $41,039.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 25,563 shares of company stock valued at $717,974 over the last three months. 11.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its stake in shares of LivePerson by 26.8% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,866 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $92,000 after purchasing an additional 1,029 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of LivePerson by 818.5% during the 4th quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,263 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 4,690 shares during the period. Virtu Financial LLC acquired a new stake in shares of LivePerson during the 1st quarter worth approximately $236,000. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of LivePerson during the 1st quarter worth approximately $242,000. Finally, Neuburgh Advisers LLC grew its stake in shares of LivePerson by 159.3% during the 4th quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC now owns 8,558 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $161,000 after purchasing an additional 5,258 shares during the period. 79.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About LivePerson

LivePerson, Inc provides conversational commerce solutions. The company operates in two segments, Business and Consumer. The Business segment enables brands to leverage LiveEngage's intelligence engine to connect with consumers through an integrated suite of mobile and online business messaging technologies.

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