Zacks Investment Research Lowers Equifax (EFX) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Equifax (NYSE:EFX) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Tuesday, January 9th.

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. We are concerned that the entire issue may result in loss of customers and the company may also have to make huge compensation to its clients. We believe the incident will certainly have an adverse impact on the company’s financial performance in the near term. Notably, the stock has underperformed the industry in the last one year.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on EFX. Robert W. Baird restated a buy rating and set a $137.00 price target on shares of Equifax in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Barclays cut shares of Equifax from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and raised their price target for the stock from $115.00 to $128.00 in a report on Thursday, December 14th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their target price on shares of Equifax from $113.00 to $114.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a research note on Monday, November 13th. Stifel Nicolaus cut shares of Equifax from a buy rating to a hold rating and reduced their target price for the company from $149.00 to $115.00 in a research note on Monday, November 13th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Equifax in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. They issued a neutral rating and a $116.00 target price for the company. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $129.47.

Equifax (NYSE EFX) traded up $1.69 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $124.53. 1,178,000 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,232,715. The stock has a market capitalization of $14,950.00, a P/E ratio of 28.17, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.67 and a current ratio of 0.67. Equifax has a 1-year low of $89.59 and a 1-year high of $147.02.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The credit services provider reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.49 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $834.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $847.28 million. Equifax had a net margin of 16.18% and a return on equity of 24.45%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.44 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Equifax will post 5.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. bought a new position in Equifax during the fourth quarter worth $101,000. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC increased its position in Equifax by 5.0% during the second quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 781 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $108,000 after acquiring an additional 37 shares during the period. Sun Life Financial INC increased its position in Equifax by 9,722.2% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 884 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $121,000 after acquiring an additional 875 shares during the period. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new position in Equifax during the third quarter worth $130,000. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Equifax during the third quarter worth $134,000. 95.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Equifax Company Profile

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.

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