Financial Survey: Equifax (EFX) vs. Its Peers

Equifax (NYSE: EFX) is one of 27 publicly-traded companies in the “Professional Information Services” industry, but how does it contrast to its peers? We will compare Equifax to related companies based on the strength of its risk, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and valuation.

Risk & Volatility

Equifax has a beta of 0.87, indicating that its share price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Equifax’s peers have a beta of 0.99, indicating that their average share price is 1% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Equifax and its peers revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Equifax $3.29 billion $1.22 billion 23.44
Equifax Competitors $3.41 billion $997.58 million 17.06

Equifax’s peers have higher revenue, but lower earnings than Equifax. Equifax is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Dividends

Equifax pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Equifax pays out 33.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Professional Information Services” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.4% and pay out 31.9% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Equifax has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Equifax lags its peers as a dividend stock, given its lower dividend yield and higher payout ratio.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Equifax and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Equifax 1 3 11 0 2.67
Equifax Competitors 72 505 686 6 2.49

Equifax presently has a consensus target price of $130.27, indicating a potential upside of 17.76%. As a group, “Professional Information Services” companies have a potential downside of 3.81%. Given Equifax’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Equifax is more favorable than its peers.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

90.0% of Equifax shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 63.5% of shares of all “Professional Information Services” companies are owned by institutional investors. 1.3% of Equifax shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.5% of shares of all “Professional Information Services” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Equifax and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Equifax 17.44% 24.88% 10.51%
Equifax Competitors 7.03% 27.68% 5.06%

Summary

Equifax beats its peers on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

About Equifax

Equifax Inc. is a global provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments and consumers. The Company operates in four segments: U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), International, Workforce Solutions and Global Consumer Solutions. Its products and services are based on databases of consumer and business information derived from various sources, including credit, financial assets, telecommunications and utility payments, employment, income, demographic and marketing data. It uses statistical techniques and software tools to analyze all available data, creating customized insights, decision-making solutions and processing services for its clients. It helps consumers understand, manage and protect their personal information and make more informed financial decisions. The Company also provides information, technology and services to support debt collections and recovery management.

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