S&P Global (SPGI) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday. They currently have $197.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “S&P Global’s strategic portfolio restructuring initiatives and focus on core business are likely to drive growth. This apart, opportune acquisitions and positive industry trends augur well for future. The acquisition of SNL Financial is likely to complement the S&P Capital IQ and Platts businesses. Moreover, it will enable global expansion on a greater scale especially within the banking and insurance sectors, while media and real estate areas are likely to emerge as new opportunities. 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 and positive growth in M&A. The company also outperformed the industry in the last three months. However, various lawsuits have hampered the credibility of the company and adversely impacted its financial results.”

SPGI has been the subject of several other reports. UBS Group boosted their price target on S&P Global from $173.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. BidaskClub cut S&P Global from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Barclays upped their target price on S&P Global from $160.00 to $170.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, September 15th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on S&P Global from $159.00 to $165.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies upped their target price on S&P Global from $150.00 to $168.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $171.46.

Shares of S&P Global (NYSE SPGI) traded up $1.24 on Thursday, hitting $177.64. The company had a trading volume of 711,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 820,189. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.00, a current ratio of 1.52 and a quick ratio of 1.52. S&P Global has a 52-week low of $111.94 and a 52-week high of $178.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $45,298.20, a PE ratio of 26.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 1.51.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The business services provider reported $1.71 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.19. S&P Global had a return on equity of 187.30% and a net margin of 30.15%. The firm had revenue of $1.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.45 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.43 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that S&P Global will post 6.66 EPS for the current year.

In other news, EVP Courtney Geduldig sold 1,596 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.50, for a total transaction of $249,774.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 2,663 shares in the company, valued at approximately $416,759.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Douglas L. Peterson sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.79, for a total value of $631,160.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 140,743 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,207,837.97. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 7,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,104,704. 0.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Korea Investment CORP grew its holdings in shares of S&P Global by 11.1% during the 3rd quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 310,109 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $48,473,000 after purchasing an additional 30,900 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of S&P Global by 3.4% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,441,961 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $225,392,000 after purchasing an additional 47,930 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of S&P Global by 4.3% during the 2nd quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 889,431 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $129,848,000 after purchasing an additional 36,605 shares during the period. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH purchased a new position in shares of S&P Global during the 3rd quarter worth $23,854,000. Finally, Tesco Pension Investment Ltd purchased a new position in shares of S&P Global during the 3rd quarter worth $45,406,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.06% of the company’s stock.

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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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