Equifax (EFX) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Last year's cyber-attack at Equifax, under which criminals stole highly sensitive personal data of approximately 143 million of its consumers, has heavily tarnished the brand image, reputation and credibility of the company. The company is facing huge customer criticism, while cybersecurity companies are questioning its preparedness and response to this massive data breach. Moreover, with lawmakers and investigating agencies probing the mishap, troubles for Equifax are unlikely to end any time soon. Notably, shares have underperformed the industry in a year’s time frame. Nonetheless, we believe that management’s efforts, such as strategic initiatives for product innovation and expansion of data assets through acquisitions should act as tailwinds”

A number of other analysts have also issued reports on the company. ValuEngine raised Equifax from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 8th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Equifax from $119.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, April 27th. Bank of America assumed coverage on Equifax in a research note on Tuesday, April 10th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $115.00 price target on the stock. SunTrust Banks lifted their price target on Equifax to $140.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 5th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $132.00 price objective (up previously from $127.00) on shares of Equifax in a research report on Monday, March 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $124.64.

Shares of NYSE:EFX opened at $126.16 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.60, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The company has a market capitalization of $14.79 billion, a PE ratio of 21.13, a PEG ratio of 2.59 and a beta of 0.94. Equifax has a 1 year low of $89.59 and a 1 year high of $147.02.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The credit services provider reported $1.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $865.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $854.89 million. Equifax had a return on equity of 22.55% and a net margin of 15.46%. The business’s revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.44 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Equifax will post 5.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Equifax news, CEO Mark W. Begor bought 8,700 shares of Equifax stock in a transaction on Friday, May 25th. The shares were bought at an average price of $115.01 per share, for a total transaction of $1,000,587.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 46,491 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,346,929.91. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 1.45% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Independent Franchise Partners LLP purchased a new stake in Equifax in the first quarter valued at $458,468,000. Viking Global Investors LP raised its position in Equifax by 334.5% in the fourth quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 2,336,753 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $275,550,000 after purchasing an additional 1,798,947 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in Equifax by 101.8% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 2,214,694 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $260,913,000 after purchasing an additional 1,117,226 shares during the period. Two Sigma Advisers LP raised its position in Equifax by 382.6% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 1,556,654 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $183,561,000 after purchasing an additional 1,234,096 shares during the period. Finally, Farallon Capital Management LLC raised its position in Equifax by 8.1% in the first quarter. Farallon Capital Management LLC now owns 1,404,828 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $165,503,000 after purchasing an additional 105,653 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 90.18% of the company’s stock.

About Equifax

Equifax Inc provides information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments, and consumers. The company operates through four segments: U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), International, Workforce Solutions, and Global Consumer Solutions. The USIS segment offers consumer and commercial information services, such as credit information and credit scoring, credit modeling and portfolio analytics, locate, fraud detection and prevention, identity verification, and other consulting; mortgage loan origination information; financial marketing; and identity management services.

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