Nielsen (NLSN) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Nielsen improving performance in the Watch segment and benefits from Gracenote acquisition are positives for the company’s market share. Moreover, the company’s Connected Partner Program bodes well for improving clientele. Also, regular dividend payment and share repurchase reflect Nielsen’s financial strength and commitment to return value to shareholders. However, weakness in the U.S. Buy segment and unimpressive performance in the emerging markets remain concerns. Further, the company’s continued investments in technology and infrastructure remain risks for margin expansion and profitability, going forward. Notably, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to on a year-to-date basis. Mounting competition in the digital space also poses a major threat to the company’s market position.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Morgan Stanley set a $26.00 target price on Nielsen and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 14th. Robert W. Baird lifted their price target on Nielsen from $26.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 14th. Citigroup dropped their price target on Nielsen from $41.00 to $29.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 20th. Barclays upgraded Nielsen from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and lifted their price target for the company from $21.00 to $27.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 14th. Finally, Pivotal Research lowered Nielsen from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $27.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, August 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $28.50.

Shares of NLSN traded down $0.77 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $26.43. 2,931,714 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,338,430. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.97, a quick ratio of 1.14 and a current ratio of 1.14. Nielsen has a 1 year low of $20.53 and a 1 year high of $39.25. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.66 billion, a PE ratio of 12.53, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 0.85.

Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The business services provider reported $0.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.02. Nielsen had a return on equity of 14.56% and a net margin of 4.85%. The firm had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.58 billion. Research analysts forecast that Nielsen will post 1.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 5th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 21st were given a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 20th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.30%. Nielsen’s dividend payout ratio is presently 66.35%.

In related news, SVP Jeffrey Charlton sold 6,337 shares of Nielsen stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.46, for a total transaction of $174,014.02. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Nielsen by 1.9% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 37,099,203 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,026,163,000 after acquiring an additional 688,591 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in Nielsen by 5.5% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,800,026 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $49,788,000 after acquiring an additional 93,562 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB bought a new stake in Nielsen in the third quarter worth $574,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Nielsen by 175.8% in the third quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,104 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $169,000 after acquiring an additional 3,891 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fairpointe Capital LLC bought a new stake in Nielsen in the third quarter worth $277,000.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an information and measurement company. It operates through Buy and Watch segments. The company provides media and marketing information, analytics, and manufacturer and retailer expertise about what and where consumers buy, read, watch, and listen.

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