Verisk Analytics (VRSK) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ:VRSK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Saturday. The brokerage currently has a $107.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 10.45% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Verisk continuously seeks to expand its portfolio by leveraging its deep knowledge and embedded position to develop new, proprietary data sets and predictive analytics by working in unison with its customers to understand their evolving needs. In order to create long-term value for its clients, the company has extended its scalable data and analytic solutions by steadily putting resources into overseas markets. The scalability of its products has further led to highly cash-generative businesses characterized by high net margins and relatively low capital intensity. A holistic growth model focused on organic growth and strategic acquisitions augurs well to strengthen its leading position in the market. Verisk has also outperformed the industry in the last three months. However, Verisk is susceptible to operational risks related to security breaches in its facilities and databases, resulting in a loss of its credibility.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on VRSK. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $83.00 target price on shares of Verisk Analytics in a research note on Friday, September 15th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $78.00 target price on shares of Verisk Analytics in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Verisk Analytics from $82.00 to $83.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Verisk Analytics in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $92.00 target price on shares of Verisk Analytics in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $92.64.

Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ VRSK) traded up $0.85 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $96.88. 876,520 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 785,347. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.36, a current ratio of 0.45 and a quick ratio of 0.45. Verisk Analytics has a one year low of $75.60 and a one year high of $98.60. The company has a market capitalization of $15,815.36, a PE ratio of 35.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.13 and a beta of 0.80.

Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ:VRSK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The business services provider reported $0.84 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.06. Verisk Analytics had a net margin of 22.09% and a return on equity of 36.91%. The company had revenue of $549.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $527.97 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.84 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Verisk Analytics will post 3.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Kenneth E. Thompson sold 62,226 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.15, for a total value of $5,298,543.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 107,264 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,133,529.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Lee Shavel acquired 390 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $96.36 per share, with a total value of $37,580.40. Following the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 22,341 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,152,778.76. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 327,172 shares of company stock valued at $28,591,387 in the last three months. Company insiders own 3.41% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of VRSK. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Verisk Analytics by 2,758.9% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,612,882 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $779,989,000 after buying an additional 9,276,635 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in shares of Verisk Analytics by 1,487.4% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 5,502,847 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $464,275,000 after buying an additional 5,156,187 shares in the last quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. increased its holdings in shares of Verisk Analytics by 681.7% during the fourth quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 4,988,166 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $404,890,000 after buying an additional 4,350,014 shares in the last quarter. Harding Loevner LP increased its holdings in shares of Verisk Analytics by 95.4% during the third quarter. Harding Loevner LP now owns 5,847,407 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $243,146,000 after buying an additional 2,855,204 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Verisk Analytics by 27.6% during the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,998,821 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $999,348,000 after buying an additional 2,813,643 shares in the last quarter. 92.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Verisk Analytics Company Profile

Verisk Analytics, Inc is a data analytics provider serving customers in insurance, natural resources and financial services. The Company operates through two segments: Risk Assessment and Decision Analytics. Its Risk Assessment segment serves its property and casualty insurance customers and focuses on prediction of loss, selection and pricing of risk, and compliance with their reporting requirements in each United States state in which they operate.

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