Global Payments (GPN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Global Payments’ shares have outperformed its industry in six month's time. The company’s strategic investments in future growth projects and successful refinancing of credit facilities bode well. Consistent top-line growth and accretive acquisitions are impressive. Investment in technology has enabled it to stay ahead of the rapidly changing payments industry. Its solid 2019 guidance also impresses. The company’s operating cash flows have been increasing for the past many years. However, the company suffers from a rising debt level. Moreover, its earnings are also expected to face currency volatility, owing to its worldwide presence. A low return on equity makes the stock unattractive.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. TheStreet upgraded Global Payments from a c rating to a b- rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. Mizuho increased their price target on Global Payments to $136.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. ValuEngine upgraded Global Payments from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Global Payments from a neutral rating to a buy rating and increased their price target for the stock from $122.00 to $128.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group started coverage on Global Payments in a research report on Thursday, February 28th. They set a buy rating and a $150.00 price target on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $135.64.

GPN stock opened at $138.82 on Tuesday. Global Payments has a 1-year low of $94.81 and a 1-year high of $139.82. The company has a market capitalization of $21.83 billion, a PE ratio of 26.75, a P/E/G ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 1.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.20, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.03.

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 13th. The business services provider reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.25 by $0.08. Global Payments had a return on equity of 19.11% and a net margin of 13.43%. The company had revenue of $1.04 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.04 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 12.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Global Payments will post 5.72 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th were issued a dividend of $0.01 per share. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.03%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 14th. Global Payments’s dividend payout ratio is 0.77%.

In other Global Payments news, Director Robert H. B. Baldwin, Jr. sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.49, for a total transaction of $425,215.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 68,817 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,360,577.33. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Cameron M. Bready sold 34,308 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.33, for a total value of $4,505,669.64. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 138,520 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,191,831.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 210,329 shares of company stock worth $27,306,584. Company insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of GPN. Ranger Investment Management L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Global Payments in the 4th quarter valued at $26,000. Legacy Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Global Payments in the 1st quarter valued at $44,000. JOYN Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Global Payments by 58.7% in the 4th quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. now owns 346 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 128 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Global Payments by 35.7% in the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 407 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $43,000 after purchasing an additional 107 shares during the period. Finally, Private Capital Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Global Payments by 164.1% in the 4th quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 544 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $56,000 after purchasing an additional 338 shares during the period. 98.80% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Global Payments Company Profile

Global Payments Inc provides payment technology and software solutions for card, electronic, check, and digital-based payments. The company operates in three segments: North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. It offers authorization services, settlement and funding services, customer support and help-desk functions, chargeback resolution, terminal rental, sales and deployment, payment security services, consolidated billing and statements, and online reporting services.

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