Equifax (NYSE:EFX) Hits New 1-Year High on Better-Than-Expected Earnings

Shares of Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFXGet Free Report) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $254.16 and last traded at $253.38, with a volume of 1157276 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $241.86.

The credit services provider reported $1.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $1.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.31 billion. Equifax had a return on equity of 19.15% and a net margin of 10.15%. The business’s revenue was up 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.52 earnings per share.

Equifax Announces Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be paid a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.62%. Equifax’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.97%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Oppenheimer assumed coverage on Equifax in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $273.00 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on Equifax from $204.00 to $196.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Citigroup started coverage on Equifax in a research report on Monday, November 20th. They set a “buy” rating and a $243.00 target price for the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft upgraded Equifax from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $218.00 to $267.00 in a research report on Friday, December 8th. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group raised their price target on Equifax from $195.00 to $222.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, December 29th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $257.12.

Get Our Latest Report on Equifax

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in Equifax by 105,549.9% during the 4th quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 38,813,671 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $7,543,825,000 after purchasing an additional 38,776,933 shares during the last quarter. T. Rowe Price Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Equifax by 77.8% during the 4th quarter. T. Rowe Price Investment Management Inc. now owns 8,935,666 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $1,736,737,000 after purchasing an additional 3,910,202 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Equifax during the 4th quarter valued at about $229,992,000. Veritas Asset Management LLP acquired a new position in shares of Equifax in the 2nd quarter valued at about $266,095,000. Finally, Capital International Investors lifted its holdings in shares of Equifax by 8.1% in the 2nd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 10,591,332 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $2,492,132,000 after buying an additional 795,483 shares during the period. 98.37% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Equifax Trading Up 4.3 %

The firm has a market cap of $31.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 59.75, a PEG ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 1.50. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $242.17 and a 200-day moving average price of $209.66. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28.

About Equifax

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Equifax Inc operates as a data, analytics, and technology company. The company operates through three segments: Workforce Solutions, U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), and International. The Workforce Solutions segment offers services that enables customers to verify income, employment, educational history, criminal justice data, healthcare professional licensure, and sanctions of people in the United States; and employer customers with services that assist them in complying with and automating payroll-related and human resource management processes throughout the entire cycle of the employment relationship.

Further Reading

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