BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:BGCP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $18.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 17.65% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “BGC PARTNERS, INC. is a leading global full-service inter-dealer broker, specializing in the trading of financial instruments and related derivatives products. BGC Partners provides integrated voice, hybrid, and fully electronic execution and other brokerage services to some of the world’s largest and most credit worthy banks, broker-dealers, investment banks and investment firms for a broad range of global financial products, including fixed income securities, foreign exchange, equity derivatives, credit derivatives, futures, structured products and other instruments. Through its eSpeed and BGCantor Market Data brands, BGC also offers financial technology solutions and market data and analytics related to selected financial instruments and markets. Named after fixed income trading innovator B. Gerald Cantor, BGC Partners has offices in New York and London, as well as in Beijing, Chicago, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Mexico City, Nyon, Paris, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto. “

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of BGC Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 7th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of BGC Partners from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st.

BGC Partners (NASDAQ BGCP) traded up 0.07% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $15.30. 2,046,743 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $4.32 billion, a PE ratio of 42.03 and a beta of 1.31. BGC Partners has a 52 week low of $8.36 and a 52 week high of $15.45. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $13.25 and its 200 day moving average is $12.26.

BGC Partners (NASDAQ:BGCP) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.24. The company had revenue of $737.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $716.00 million. BGC Partners had a net margin of 4.23% and a return on equity of 35.60%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.21 earnings per share. Analysts expect that BGC Partners will post $0.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Linda A. Bell sold 13,650 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.70, for a total transaction of $200,655.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 37.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BGCP. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in BGC Partners by 66,726.9% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,384,491 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $163,409,000 after purchasing an additional 14,362,966 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in BGC Partners by 247.8% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 7,921,620 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $100,129,000 after purchasing an additional 5,643,875 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in BGC Partners by 2,838.5% during the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,743,966 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $22,043,000 after purchasing an additional 1,684,617 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in BGC Partners by 7.1% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 18,310,093 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $208,003,000 after purchasing an additional 1,214,964 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its holdings in BGC Partners by 136.8% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,560,790 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $19,728,000 after purchasing an additional 901,592 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 42.25% of the company’s stock.

About BGC Partners

BGC Partners, Inc (BGC) is a global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. The Company operates through two segments: Financial Services and Real Estate Services. It provides a range of services, including trade execution, broker-dealer services clearing, trade compression, post trade, information, and other back-office services to a range of financial and non-financial institutions.

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