First Data (FDC) Lowered to “Market Perform” at Wells Fargo & Co

First Data (NYSE:FDC) was downgraded by equities researchers at Wells Fargo & Co from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report released on Tuesday, The Fly reports.

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on FDC. Susquehanna Bancshares restated a “neutral” rating and set a $25.00 price objective (down previously from $29.00) on shares of First Data in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. Piper Jaffray Companies lowered First Data from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 6th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Data from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Cantor Fitzgerald boosted their price objective on First Data to $25.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. Finally, BTIG Research lowered First Data from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. Nineteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $24.98.

Shares of First Data stock remained flat at $$25.05 during trading on Tuesday. The stock had a trading volume of 8,107,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 21,766,352. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.47, a current ratio of 1.02 and a quick ratio of 1.02. First Data has a 12 month low of $14.73 and a 12 month high of $26.62. The firm has a market cap of $23.47 billion, a PE ratio of 20.70, a P/E/G ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 2.31.

First Data (NYSE:FDC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 6th. The business services provider reported $0.38 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.32 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $2.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.19 billion. First Data had a return on equity of 18.47% and a net margin of 10.58%. First Data’s revenue was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.44 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that First Data will post 1.38 earnings per share for the current year.

In other First Data news, insider Cynthia A. Armine-Klein sold 99,510 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.00, for a total value of $1,890,690.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 662,767 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,592,573. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders own 5.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FDC. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of First Data by 669.5% in the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 106,849 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,615,000 after purchasing an additional 92,963 shares during the period. GAM Holding AG lifted its stake in shares of First Data by 57.8% in the 3rd quarter. GAM Holding AG now owns 48,155 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,178,000 after purchasing an additional 17,644 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its stake in shares of First Data by 23.8% in the 4th quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 51,781 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $877,000 after purchasing an additional 9,938 shares during the period. Boston Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of First Data by 28.5% in the 4th quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 57,795 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $977,000 after purchasing an additional 12,831 shares during the period. Finally, FNY Investment Advisers LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Data in the 4th quarter valued at about $42,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 55.78% of the company’s stock.

First Data Company Profile

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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