Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $97.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Nasdaq have outperformed the industry year to date. It remains focused on growth through acquisitions and organic initiatives, enabling entry and cross-selling opportunities into new markets on a low-cost and highly-flexible platform. It displays prudence by accelerating its non-transaction revenue base. Nasdaq reviews its operations to accelerate the growth trajectory and intends to lower capital resources in business that do not offer considerable growth. A healthy balance sheet and cash position aid in de-leveraging the company, investing in its growth initiatives and engaging in shareholder-friendly moves. However, its elevated expenses restrict the desired margin expansion. Intense competition and regulatory issues remain key concerns. The company estimates 2018 non-GAAP operating expenses in the range of $1.375-$1.415 billion. Nasdaq’s fourth-quarter bottom line beat the estimates on higher revenues across segments.”
A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on NDAQ. UBS reiterated a buy rating and set a $89.00 price objective (up from $83.00) on shares of Nasdaq in a report on Monday, December 11th. BidaskClub cut shares of Nasdaq from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. ValuEngine cut shares of Nasdaq from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. Wells Fargo reiterated a market perform rating and set a $83.00 price objective (up from $77.00) on shares of Nasdaq in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating and set a $83.50 price objective on shares of Nasdaq in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $86.32.
Shares of NASDAQ NDAQ opened at $85.20 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $14,190.91, a PE ratio of 20.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.64. Nasdaq has a 1 year low of $65.98 and a 1 year high of $87.00. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.
Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $635.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $628.36 million. Nasdaq had a net margin of 18.49% and a return on equity of 12.75%. The business’s revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.95 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Nasdaq will post 4.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Nasdaq declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Monday, January 29th that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 29th. Investors of record on Friday, June 15th will be given a dividend of $0.44 per share. This is a positive change from Nasdaq’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.07%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. Nasdaq’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.44%.
In related news, insider Edward S. Knight sold 13,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.41, for a total transaction of $1,048,212.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 73,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,842,114.29. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Bradley J. Peterson sold 19,169 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.70, for a total transaction of $1,546,938.30. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 32,214 shares in the company, valued at $2,599,669.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 42,837 shares of company stock worth $3,442,932 over the last three months. 0.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NDAQ. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in shares of Nasdaq by 303.7% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,033,797 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $79,427,000 after purchasing an additional 777,702 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its position in Nasdaq by 78.0% in the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,565,207 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $120,255,000 after acquiring an additional 685,770 shares during the period. Mackenzie Financial Corp raised its position in Nasdaq by 186.3% in the fourth quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 983,236 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $75,542,000 after acquiring an additional 639,843 shares during the period. Two Sigma Advisers LP raised its position in Nasdaq by 321.8% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 822,101 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $63,162,000 after acquiring an additional 627,200 shares during the period. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised its position in Nasdaq by 41.7% in the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 2,100,466 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $161,374,000 after acquiring an additional 618,137 shares during the period. 76.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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Nasdaq Company Profile
Nasdaq, Inc (Nasdaq) is a holding company. The Company is a provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, regulatory, securities listing, information and public company services. It manages, operates and provides its products and services through four segments: Market Services, Corporate Services, Information Services and Market Technology.
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