Equifax (NYSE: EFX) is one of 27 public companies in the “Professional Information Services” industry, but how does it contrast to its peers? We will compare Equifax to similar companies based on the strength of its dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, profitability and risk.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Equifax and its peers revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Equifax $3.29 billion $1.22 billion 23.71
Equifax Competitors $3.41 billion $997.58 million 17.74

Equifax’s peers have higher revenue, but lower earnings than Equifax. Equifax is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Profitability

This table compares Equifax and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Equifax 17.44% 24.88% 10.51%
Equifax Competitors 6.93% 27.29% 4.99%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

90.0% of Equifax shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 63.5% of shares of all “Professional Information Services” companies are owned by institutional investors. 1.3% of Equifax shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.6% of shares of all “Professional Information Services” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Equifax pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Equifax pays out 33.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Professional Information Services” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.5% and pay out 31.9% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Equifax has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Equifax lags its peers as a dividend stock, given its lower dividend yield and higher payout ratio.

Risk & Volatility

Equifax has a beta of 0.87, meaning that its stock price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Equifax’s peers have a beta of 0.99, meaning that their average stock price is 1% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Equifax and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Equifax 1 3 11 0 2.67
Equifax Competitors 143 638 731 13 2.40

Equifax presently has a consensus price target of $130.27, indicating a potential upside of 16.38%. As a group, “Professional Information Services” companies have a potential downside of 2.59%. Given Equifax’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Equifax is more favorable than its peers.

Summary

Equifax beats its peers on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

About Equifax

Equifax Inc. is a global provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments and consumers. The Company operates in four segments: U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), International, Workforce Solutions and Global Consumer Solutions. Its products and services are based on databases of consumer and business information derived from various sources, including credit, financial assets, telecommunications and utility payments, employment, income, demographic and marketing data. It uses statistical techniques and software tools to analyze all available data, creating customized insights, decision-making solutions and processing services for its clients. It helps consumers understand, manage and protect their personal information and make more informed financial decisions. The Company also provides information, technology and services to support debt collections and recovery management.

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