J2 Global (NASDAQ:JCOM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of j2 Global have performed worse than its industry over the past month. Adding to its woes, the company reported lower-than-expected earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2017. Results were hurt by high costs. Operating expenses increased 35.4% on a year-over-year basis. Increased costs pertaining to sales and marketing primarily led to the substantial rise in operating expenses. Such high costs have the potential to limit bottom-line growth in future as well. We are also concerned about the company's high debt levels. In the fourth quarter, long-term debt increased 66.2% to $1 billion . Also, free cash flow decreased 8.9% year over year during the quarter. The pessimism surrounding the stock is reflected by the fact that the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 1.5% downward over the last 30 days. We are, however, impressed by the company's efforts to reward shareholders.”
Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the company. BidaskClub lowered J2 Global from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. William Blair reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of J2 Global in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. DA Davidson initiated coverage on J2 Global in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $95.00 target price for the company. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased their target price on J2 Global from $94.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. J2 Global presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $99.50.
J2 Global (NASDAQ:JCOM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The technology company reported $1.79 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.70 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $316.38 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $319.00 million. J2 Global had a return on equity of 26.82% and a net margin of 12.47%. The firm’s revenue was up 25.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.49 earnings per share. research analysts predict that J2 Global will post 5.55 EPS for the current year.
In other news, CEO Vivek Shah sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.63, for a total value of $232,890.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 748,232 shares in the company, valued at $58,085,250.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 5.15% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in J2 Global by 14.0% during the 3rd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,475,529 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $109,013,000 after purchasing an additional 181,704 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP grew its stake in J2 Global by 14.7% during the 4th quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,343,863 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $100,830,000 after purchasing an additional 172,539 shares in the last quarter. AXA acquired a new stake in J2 Global during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $6,029,000. AGF Investments Inc. grew its stake in J2 Global by 47.2% during the 3rd quarter. AGF Investments Inc. now owns 239,084 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $17,664,000 after purchasing an additional 76,655 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp grew its stake in J2 Global by 4.5% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,675,239 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $142,548,000 after purchasing an additional 71,785 shares in the last quarter.
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J2 Global Company Profile
j2 Global, Inc is a provider of services delivered through the Internet. The Company provides cloud services to businesses of all sizes, from individuals to enterprises. The Company operates in two segments: Business Cloud Services and Digital Media. The Company’s Digital Media business segment consists of the Web properties and business operations of Ziff Davis, Inc (Ziff Davis).
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