First Data (FDC) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

First Data (NYSE:FDC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “First Data continues to benefit from innovative product and services portfolio and growing enterprise business. The company’s expanding clientele that includes the likes of Alipay and RBL bank remains a significant growth driver. First Data’s strong focus on globalizing its offerings, acquisitions and strategic partnerships and a healthy business around large and small banks are positives. However, the company is subject to seasonality and foreign exchange risk. Further, volatility in financial payments, services and technology industry is a headwind. The stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year.”

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A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on FDC. Bank of America upgraded First Data from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Piper Jaffray reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 target price on shares of First Data in a report on Thursday, January 18th. ValuEngine downgraded First Data from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $17.00 target price on shares of First Data in a report on Monday, February 12th. Finally, BTIG Research reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of First Data in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $20.40.

Shares of FDC stock traded up $0.12 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $15.33. 1,888,085 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,809,457. First Data has a 1 year low of $14.81 and a 1 year high of $19.23. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.98, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.00. The company has a market capitalization of $14,022.94, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.98, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 1.44.

First Data (NYSE:FDC) last posted its earnings results on Monday, February 12th. The business services provider reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.44. First Data had a return on equity of 24.96% and a net margin of 12.16%. The firm had revenue of $3.15 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.11 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.39 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that First Data will post 1.2 earnings per share for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its position in shares of First Data by 9.7% in the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 40,180 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $671,000 after purchasing an additional 3,566 shares in the last quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp lifted its position in First Data by 6.8% in the 4th quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 188,607 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $3,152,000 after acquiring an additional 12,000 shares in the last quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in First Data in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Cowen Inc. bought a new position in First Data in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $4,091,000. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its position in First Data by 102.5% in the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 13,163 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $220,000 after acquiring an additional 6,663 shares in the last quarter. 49.51% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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First Data Company Profile

First Data Corporation provides electronic commerce solutions for merchants, financial institutions, and card issuers worldwide. It operates through three segments: Global Business Solutions (GBS), Global Financial Solutions (GFS), and Network & Security Solutions (NSS). The GBS segment offers retail point-of-sale merchant acquiring and e-commerce services; and mobile payment services, as well as its cloud-based Clover point-of-sale operating system, which includes a marketplace for proprietary and third-party business applications.

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