First Data (FDC) Downgraded by Piper Jaffray Companies to Neutral

First Data (NYSE:FDC) was downgraded by stock analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, The Fly reports.

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on FDC. SunTrust Banks cut shares of First Data from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. Tigress Financial cut shares of First Data from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Raymond James cut shares of First Data from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $25.03 price target for the company. in a research note on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Data from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Finally, Nomura increased their price target on shares of First Data from $21.00 to $26.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 17th. Sixteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $24.79.

Shares of First Data stock traded down $0.26 on Wednesday, hitting $25.17. The company had a trading volume of 6,182,817 shares, compared to its average volume of 25,838,716. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.83 billion, a PE ratio of 19.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 2.31. First Data has a twelve month low of $14.73 and a twelve month high of $26.62. The company has a quick ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.47.

First Data (NYSE:FDC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 6th. The business services provider reported $0.38 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.06. First Data had a net margin of 17.48% and a return on equity of 19.33%. The business had revenue of $2.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.19 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.44 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that First Data will post 1.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Barry C. Mccarthy sold 113,515 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.13, for a total transaction of $2,171,541.95. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 368,571 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,050,763.23. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Cynthia A. Armine-Klein sold 99,510 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.00, for a total transaction of $1,890,690.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 662,767 shares in the company, valued at $12,592,573. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FDC. TD Capital Management LLC bought a new position in First Data in the 4th quarter valued at about $126,000. One Tusk Investment Partners LP bought a new position in First Data in the 4th quarter valued at about $9,892,000. Staley Capital Advisers Inc. bought a new position in First Data in the 4th quarter valued at about $254,000. ST Germain D J Co. Inc. increased its holdings in First Data by 9.6% in the 4th quarter. ST Germain D J Co. Inc. now owns 12,340 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $209,000 after buying an additional 1,080 shares during the period. Finally, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. increased its holdings in First Data by 5.7% in the 4th quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 20,382 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $345,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the period. 56.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About First Data

First Data Corporation provides electronic commerce solutions for merchants, financial institutions, and card issuers worldwide. It operates through three segments: Global Business Solutions (GBS), Global Financial Solutions (GFS), and Network & Security Solutions (NSS). The GBS segment offers retail point-of-sale merchant acquiring and e-commerce services; and mobile payment services, as well as its cloud-based Clover point-of-sale operating system, which includes a marketplace for proprietary and third-party business applications.

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