SunTrust Banks Lowers Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) Price Target to $160.00

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) had its price objective reduced by equities researchers at SunTrust Banks to $160.00 in a report issued on Tuesday, The Fly reports. The firm presently has a “buy” rating on the business services provider’s stock. SunTrust Banks’ price objective points to a potential upside of 22.37% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Oppenheimer restated a “hold” rating on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Robert W. Baird set a $173.00 price objective on shares of Alliance Data Systems and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 19th. William Blair restated a “buy” rating on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research note on Monday, July 15th. Buckingham Research restated a “neutral” rating and set a $169.00 price objective on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research note on Monday, July 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, April 29th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $195.50.

ADS stock traded down $5.79 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $130.75. The company had a trading volume of 1,641,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 780,972. The company has a quick ratio of 2.64, a current ratio of 2.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.16. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.06, a P/E/G ratio of 0.51 and a beta of 1.63. Alliance Data Systems has a one year low of $130.63 and a one year high of $250.27. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $150.89 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $157.17.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 18th. The business services provider reported $3.66 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.08 by ($0.42). Alliance Data Systems had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 46.72%. The company had revenue of $1.35 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.36 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $5.01 earnings per share. Alliance Data Systems’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts forecast that Alliance Data Systems will post 18.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Alliance Data Systems declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, July 9th that allows the company to buyback $1.10 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the business services provider to reacquire up to 14.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Alliance Data Systems news, CFO Timothy P. King sold 2,600 shares of Alliance Data Systems stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.30, for a total transaction of $406,380.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 9.8% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 671,141 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $100,563,000 after acquiring an additional 59,750 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 11.5% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 18,289 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,200,000 after buying an additional 1,885 shares in the last quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co raised its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 333.5% in the first quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co now owns 5,961 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $499,000 after buying an additional 4,586 shares in the last quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd raised its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 1.9% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 10,895 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,906,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Eqis Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 5.4% in the first quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,285 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $400,000 after buying an additional 118 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.67% of the company’s stock.

About Alliance Data Systems

Alliance Data Systems Corporation provides data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions worldwide. It operates through three segments: LoyaltyOne, Epsilon, and Card Services. The company offers a portfolio of integrated outsourced marketing solutions, including customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, end-to-end marketing services, analytics and creative services, direct marketing services, and private label and co-brand retail credit card programs.

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