Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $78.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 11.67% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Successful integration of acquisitions, achievement of cost synergies and reduced debt level well poise Intercontinental Exchange for long term growth. Also, continued strength in its energy franchise, increasing recurring market data revenues and ongoing initiatives should keep growth on track. For 2017, management expects data services revenues to increase at least 6% in constant currency. The company remains on track to return $1.4 billion in capital to shareholders in 2017. However, foreign currency fluctuations and stricter regulations raise concerns. Also, the company estimates fourth-quarter expenses in the range of $475-$485 million with interest expenses to be $50 million for fourth-quarter 2017, respectively. Shares of Intercontinental Exchange have underperformed the industry in a year's time.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. UBS Group increased their price target on shares of Intercontinental Exchange from $73.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Argus increased their price target on shares of Intercontinental Exchange from $72.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price target on shares of Intercontinental Exchange in a research report on Sunday, October 8th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on shares of Intercontinental Exchange from $65.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, Citigroup increased their price target on shares of Intercontinental Exchange from $75.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $75.40.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) traded down $0.71 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $69.85. 3,195,200 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,530,250. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30. The stock has a market cap of $41,380.00, a PE ratio of 25.40, a P/E/G ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 0.70. Intercontinental Exchange has a one year low of $55.79 and a one year high of $72.99.

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The financial services provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. Intercontinental Exchange had a net margin of 27.91% and a return on equity of 11.01%. The business had revenue of $1.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.14 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.64 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Intercontinental Exchange will post 2.95 earnings per share for the current year.

Intercontinental Exchange announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, November 2nd that allows the company to buyback $1.20 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to buy up to 3.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Intercontinental Exchange news, Director Jean Marc Forneri sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.68, for a total value of $565,440.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Charles A. Vice sold 12,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.52, for a total transaction of $856,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 382,471 shares in the company, valued at approximately $26,206,912.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 40,500 shares of company stock worth $2,833,415. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Intercontinental Exchange by 0.9% in the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,915,546 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $200,298,000 after purchasing an additional 24,797 shares during the period. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI acquired a new position in shares of Intercontinental Exchange during the third quarter valued at approximately $380,000. Oak Ridge Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of Intercontinental Exchange by 7.2% during the second quarter. Oak Ridge Investments LLC now owns 250,107 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $16,487,000 after acquiring an additional 16,704 shares during the period. QS Investors LLC increased its stake in shares of Intercontinental Exchange by 10.0% during the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 10,381 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $684,000 after acquiring an additional 946 shares during the period. Finally, Stephens Inc. AR increased its stake in shares of Intercontinental Exchange by 198.1% during the second quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 32,957 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,173,000 after acquiring an additional 21,903 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 89.95% of the company’s stock.

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About Intercontinental Exchange

Intercontinental Exchange Inc, formerly IntercontinentalExchange Group, Inc, is a network of regulated exchanges and clearing houses for financial and commodity markets. The Company delivers transparent and accessible data, technology and risk management services to markets around the world through its portfolio of exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, ICE Futures, Liffe and Euronext.

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