Zacks Investment Research Lowers S&P Global (SPGI) to Hold

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday. They currently have a $188.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 7.00% 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 growth. The acquisition of SNL Financial is likely to complement the S&P Capital IQ and Platts businesses. 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. The company also outperformed the industry in the last three months. However, S&P Global’s performance is likely to be hurt by lower volume of debt securities issued in the capital markets. Several lawsuits have also hampered the credibility of the company and adversely impacted its financial results. Stiff industry competition is further likely to weigh upon the top line and strain margins.”

Several other analysts have also weighed in on SPGI. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of S&P Global from $154.00 to $158.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 6th. BMO Capital Markets lowered shares of S&P Global from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $166.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price objective on shares of S&P Global from $159.00 to $165.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on shares of S&P Global in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $186.00 price objective for the company. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of S&P Global from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. S&P Global currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $171.00.

Shares of S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) traded up $2.32 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $175.70. 688,852 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 791,575. The firm has a market cap of $44,800.00, a P/E ratio of 25.80, a P/E/G ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 1.51. S&P Global has a 1 year low of $110.54 and a 1 year high of $175.79. The company has a quick ratio of 1.52, a current ratio of 1.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.00.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The business services provider reported $1.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $1.51 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.45 billion. S&P Global had a net margin of 30.15% and a return on equity of 187.30%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.43 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that S&P Global will post 6.66 earnings per share for the current year.

In other S&P Global news, CEO Douglas L. Peterson sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.79, for a total transaction of $631,160.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 140,743 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,207,837.97. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Courtney Geduldig sold 1,404 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $159.38, for a total transaction of $223,769.52. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 1,259 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,659.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 7,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,104,704 in the last quarter. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Americafirst Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of S&P Global in the 3rd quarter worth $150,000. GQG Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of S&P Global in the 2nd quarter worth $160,000. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA grew its stake in shares of S&P Global by 828.0% in the 3rd quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 1,160 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $181,000 after acquiring an additional 1,035 shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. bought a new stake in shares of S&P Global in the 2nd quarter worth $185,000. Finally, Savant Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of S&P Global in the 3rd quarter worth $209,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.95% of the company’s stock.

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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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