S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $140.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 12.20% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “After completing with its portfolio restructuring, McGraw-Hill Financial rechristened as S&P Global is now focusing on its core business that would help it emerge as a leader among rating providers, benchmark providers, and analytics in the global capital and commodity markets. In addition, to aid its goal of emerging as a leader in the global analytics arena, the company has also made strategic investments. All these endeavors have helped the company to continue with its positive earnings surprise streak for the fourteenth quarters in row, when it reported second-quarter 2016 results. However, McGraw-Hill’s results could be hampered by lower volume of debt securities issued in capital markets. Recently, the company released its global bond issuance forecast. The company expects global issuance in 2016 to fall 3.8% in comparison to its previous forecast of nearly 2%.”

SPGI has been the subject of several other research reports. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Monday, July 11th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $123.00 target price for the company. Macquarie assumed coverage on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $140.00 target price for the company. Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $115.00 target price on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. Argus boosted their target price on shares of S&P Global from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 17th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald set a $117.00 target price on shares of S&P Global and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. S&P Global currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $131.43.

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S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) opened at 124.78 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $122.00 and its 200 day moving average is $109.75. The stock has a market cap of $32.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.63 and a beta of 1.22. S&P Global has a 52 week low of $78.55 and a 52 week high of $126.52.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.34 by $0.10. S&P Global had a net margin of 21.32% and a return on equity of 320.10%. The firm earned $1.48 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.42 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.21 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that S&P Global will post $5.19 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 26th were issued a $0.36 dividend. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 24th. S&P Global’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.95%.

In other S&P Global news, insider Finbarr J. Oneill sold 36,674 shares of S&P Global stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.97, for a total value of $4,436,453.78. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 50,772 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,141,888.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Nancy Luquette sold 500 shares of S&P Global stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.08, for a total value of $61,540.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 133 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,369.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Jacobus Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new stake in S&P Global during the second quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in S&P Global during the second quarter valued at approximately $113,000. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co acquired a new stake in S&P Global during the second quarter valued at approximately $129,000. West Oak Capital LLC acquired a new stake in S&P Global during the second quarter valued at approximately $139,000. Finally, Quadrant Capital Group LLC acquired a new stake in S&P Global during the second quarter valued at approximately $146,000. Institutional investors own 84.81% of the company’s stock.

S&P Global Company Profile

S&P Global Inc, formerly McGraw Hill Financial, Inc, is a provider of transparent and independent ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets across the world. The Company’s products cater to the capital markets, which includes asset managers, investment banks, commercial banks, exchanges and issuers; the commodities markets, which includes producers, traders and intermediaries within energy, metals, petrochemicals and agriculture, and the commercial markets, which includes professionals and corporate executives within automotive and marketing/research information services.

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