S&P Global Inc. (SPGI) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “S&P Global’s strategic portfolio restructuring initiatives and focus on core business are likely to drive future growth. 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. This apart, strategic acquisitions and positive industry trends augur well for long-term growth. The company outperformed the industry year to date. However, its performance is likely to be hurt by lower volume of debt securities issued in the capital markets. Financial distress could either dent investor’s demand for debt securities or make issuers reluctant to issue such securities. Various lawsuits have also hampered the credibility of the company and adversely impacted its financial results.”

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on SPGI. UBS AG upped their price target on shares of S&P Global from $154.00 to $175.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on shares of S&P Global from $161.00 to $164.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Morgan Stanley restated an equal weight rating and set a $146.00 price target (up previously from $145.00) on shares of S&P Global in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Argus restated a buy rating and set a $158.00 price target (up previously from $150.00) on shares of S&P Global in a research report on Monday, May 29th. Finally, Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of S&P Global from $150.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $157.00.

Shares of S&P Global (NYSE SPGI) opened at 154.00 on Tuesday. S&P Global has a 52 week low of $107.21 and a 52 week high of $158.35. The stock has a market cap of $39.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.94 and a beta of 1.51. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $151.84 and a 200-day moving average price of $142.07.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The business services provider reported $1.72 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.57 by $0.15. The business had revenue of $1.51 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.46 billion. S&P Global had a net margin of 38.78% and a return on equity of 202.37%. The company’s revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.44 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that S&P Global will post $6.34 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Investors of record on Monday, August 28th were paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 24th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.06%. S&P Global’s dividend payout ratio is presently 19.16%.

In related news, SVP Nancy Luquette sold 860 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $151.50, for a total transaction of $130,290.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 106 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,059. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new stake in S&P Global during the 1st quarter valued at about $365,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in S&P Global by 5.0% during the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 815,937 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $106,676,000 after acquiring an additional 38,665 shares in the last quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP purchased a new stake in S&P Global during the 1st quarter valued at about $3,860,000. Israel Discount Bank of New York purchased a new stake in S&P Global during the 1st quarter valued at about $222,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in S&P Global by 1,866.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,452,706 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,020,285,000 after acquiring an additional 14,667,076 shares in the last quarter. 85.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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