S&P Global Inc. (SPGI) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of S&P Global Inc. (NYSE:SPGI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $178.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “S&P Global’s strategic portfolio restructuring initiatives and focus on core business are likely to drive growth. The acquisition of SNL Financial is likely to complement the S&P Capital IQ and Platts businesses. Moreover, it will enable global expansion on a greater scale especially within the banking and insurance sectors, while media and real estate areas are likely to emerge as new opportunities. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to GAAP earnings in 2018. The company’s Standard & Poor's Ratings Services appears to be a long-term growth driver as corporate and U.S. structured finance issuance is picking up momentum with increasing capital infusion in the economy as well as positive growth in M&A activity. The company also outperformed the industry year to date. However, S&P Global’s performance is likely to be hurt by lower volume of debt securities issued in the capital markets.”

Several other research firms also recently commented on SPGI. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of S&P Global from $154.00 to $158.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of S&P Global from $160.00 to $170.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, September 15th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on shares of S&P Global from $161.00 to $164.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, UBS AG upped their price target on shares of S&P Global from $154.00 to $175.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $159.00.

S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The business services provider reported $1.72 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.15. S&P Global had a net margin of 38.78% and a return on equity of 202.37%. The firm had revenue of $1.51 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.46 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.44 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis.

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In related news, SVP Nancy Luquette sold 860 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $151.50, for a total value of $130,290.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 106 shares in the company, valued at $16,059. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Penserra Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of S&P Global in the second quarter valued at about $106,000. American Beacon Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in S&P Global during the first quarter worth about $103,000. Parallel Advisors LLC grew its stake in S&P Global by 5.4% during the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 971 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America grew its stake in S&P Global by 1.0% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 999 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Edmond DE Rothschild Holding S.A. grew its stake in S&P Global by 1,214.1% during the first quarter. Edmond DE Rothschild Holding S.A. now owns 1,025 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 947 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.34% of the company’s stock.

About S&P Global

S&P Global Inc, formerly McGraw Hill Financial Inc, is a provider of ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Ratings, which provides credit ratings, research and analytics to investors, issuers and other market participants; Market and Commodities Intelligence, which offers multi-asset-class data, research and analytical capabilities that integrate cross-asset analytics and desktop services, and deliver their customers in the commodity and energy markets access to information, data, analytic services and pricing and benchmarks, and S&P Dow Jones Indices (Indices), which is an index provider that maintains a range of valuation and index benchmarks for investment advisors, wealth managers and institutional investors.

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