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

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday.

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.”

A number of other brokerages have also commented on SPGI. Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of S&P Global from $160.00 to $170.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Friday. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on shares of S&P Global from $161.00 to $164.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. UBS AG boosted their price objective on shares of S&P Global from $154.00 to $175.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Morgan Stanley reissued an equal weight rating and issued a $146.00 price objective (up previously from $145.00) on shares of S&P Global in a report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Argus reissued a buy rating and issued a $158.00 price objective (up previously from $150.00) on shares of S&P Global in a report on Monday, May 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $157.00.

Shares of S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) opened at 154.43 on Monday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $151.87 and a 200 day moving average of $142.42. The company has a market cap of $39.69 billion, a PE ratio of 17.99 and a beta of 1.51. S&P Global has a 1-year low of $107.21 and a 1-year high of $158.35.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The business services provider reported $1.72 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.15. S&P Global had a net margin of 38.78% and a return on equity of 202.37%. The business had revenue of $1.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.46 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.44 EPS. S&P Global’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that S&P Global will post $6.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

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

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in S&P Global by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 19,774,884 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,886,935,000 after purchasing an additional 379,537 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in S&P Global by 11.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,197,188 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,510,617,000 after purchasing an additional 1,744,482 shares during the last quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership lifted its stake in S&P Global by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 7,089,999 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,035,069,000 after purchasing an additional 18,758 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its stake in S&P Global by 4.2% in the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 6,211,104 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $812,041,000 after purchasing an additional 251,294 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Independent Franchise Partners LLP lifted its stake in S&P Global by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP now owns 4,984,751 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $727,723,000 after purchasing an additional 30,708 shares during the last quarter. 85.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

S&P Global Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI)

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