S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $175.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 12.30% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “S&P Global’s strategic portfolio restructuring initiatives and focus on core business are likely to drive future growth. The company’s Standard & Poor's Ratings Services appears to be a long-term growth driver as corporate and U.S. structured finance issuance is picking up momentum with increasing capital infusion in the economy as well as positive growth in M&A activity. This apart, strategic acquisitions and positive industry trends augur well for long-term growth. The acquisition of SNL Financial will enable global expansion on a greater scale especially within the banking and insurance sectors, while media and real estate areas are likely to emerge as new opportunities. The company outperformed the industry year to date. However, its performance is likely to be hurt by lower volume of debt securities issued in the capital markets.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the stock. BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on shares of S&P Global from $152.00 to $161.00 and gave the company a “no rating at time” rating in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $158.00 target price (up from $150.00) on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Monday, May 29th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $146.00 target price (up from $145.00) on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Friday, July 14th. UBS AG increased their target price on shares of S&P Global from $154.00 to $175.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Barclays PLC increased their target price on shares of S&P Global from $150.00 to $155.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $157.50.

Shares of S&P Global (SPGI) traded down 0.31% on Thursday, hitting $155.35. 156,613 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $39.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.10 and a beta of 1.51. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $151.93 and its 200-day moving average is $142.61. S&P Global has a one year low of $107.21 and a one year high of $158.35.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The business services provider reported $1.72 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.15. S&P Global had a net margin of 38.78% and a return on equity of 202.37%. The business had revenue of $1.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.46 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.44 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that S&P Global will post $6.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, SVP Nancy Luquette sold 860 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $151.50, for a total value of $130,290.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 106 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,059. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. W. E. Donoghue & Co. LLC purchased a new stake in shares of S&P Global in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Achmea Investment Management B.V. lifted its position in shares of S&P Global by 11.6% in the 2nd quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. now owns 11,142 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,623,000 after acquiring an additional 1,162 shares in the last quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC lifted its position in shares of S&P Global by 35.8% in the 2nd quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 273,265 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $39,894,000 after acquiring an additional 72,065 shares in the last quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of S&P Global by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 19,906 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,906,000 after acquiring an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Toronto Dominion Bank lifted its position in shares of S&P Global by 21.9% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 91,862 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $13,410,000 after acquiring an additional 16,503 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.34% of the company’s stock.

About S&P Global

S&P Global Inc, formerly McGraw Hill Financial Inc, is a provider of ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Ratings, which provides credit ratings, research and analytics to investors, issuers and other market participants; Market and Commodities Intelligence, which offers multi-asset-class data, research and analytical capabilities that integrate cross-asset analytics and desktop services, and deliver their customers in the commodity and energy markets access to information, data, analytic services and pricing and benchmarks, and S&P Dow Jones Indices (Indices), which is an index provider that maintains a range of valuation and index benchmarks for investment advisors, wealth managers and institutional investors.

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