S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday, January 5th. Zacks Investment Research currently has $188.00 price objective 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. The acquisition of SNL Financial is likely to complement the S&P Capital IQ and Platts businesses. 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. The company also outperformed the industry in the last three months. However, S&P Global’s performance is likely to be hurt by lower volume of debt securities issued in the capital markets. Several lawsuits have also hampered the credibility of the company and adversely impacted its financial results. Stiff industry competition is further likely to weigh upon the top line and strain margins.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on SPGI. Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on shares of S&P Global in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They set a hold rating and a $186.00 price objective for the company. Barclays reissued an overweight rating and set a $190.00 price objective (up from $185.00) on shares of S&P Global in a report on Friday, December 15th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on shares of S&P Global from $159.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares of S&P Global from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $166.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald restated a buy rating and issued a $177.00 price target on shares of S&P Global in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. S&P Global currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $171.46.

S&P Global (SPGI) traded up $1.24 on Friday, reaching $177.64. 711,200 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 820,189. The firm has a market cap of $45,120.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 1.51. S&P Global has a 1-year low of $111.94 and a 1-year high of $178.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.00, a quick ratio of 1.52 and a current ratio of 1.52.

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

In other S&P Global news, CEO Douglas L. Peterson sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.79, for a total transaction of $631,160.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 140,743 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $22,207,837.97. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Courtney Geduldig sold 1,404 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $159.38, for a total transaction of $223,769.52. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 1,259 shares in the company, valued at approximately $200,659.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 7,000 shares of company stock worth $1,104,704. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Private Trust Co. NA grew its stake in shares of S&P Global by 8.3% in the 4th quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 6,149 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,041,000 after purchasing an additional 470 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC grew its stake in shares of S&P Global by 109.6% in the 4th quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 3,791 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $642,000 after purchasing an additional 1,982 shares during the last quarter. Country Club Trust Company n.a. acquired a new position in shares of S&P Global in the 4th quarter worth approximately $203,000. Milestone Resources Group Ltd acquired a new position in shares of S&P Global in the 4th quarter worth approximately $66,273,000. Finally, First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. acquired a new position in shares of S&P Global in the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,218,000. 85.06% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

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