Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Equifax is a leading provider of information services to individuals and businesses. Estimates for the company have been stable of late. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Looking at Equifax’s strong history of year over year revenue and earnings growth for the past several quarters, we believe that its strategic initiatives such as product innovation, expansion of data assets through acquisitions and continuous market share gains in North America region are aimed in the right direction. Also, the company’s strong correlation with the consumer and financial markets as well as exposure in the U.S. and Europe are likely to propel growth, going ahead. However, stiff competition from peers and uncertainty in the mortgage sector pose concerns.”

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their price target on Equifax from $142.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, October 28th. Deutsche Bank AG set a $145.00 target price on Equifax and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 18th. Barclays PLC raised their target price on Equifax from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 21st. RBC Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $146.00 target price (up from $142.00) on shares of Equifax in a research report on Friday, October 28th. Finally, Jefferies Group raised their target price on Equifax from $128.00 to $131.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $140.40.

Analyst Recommendations for Equifax (NYSE:EFX)

Shares of Equifax (NYSE:EFX) traded up 0.39% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $119.66. 415,582 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $124.39 and a 200-day moving average price of $128.42. Equifax has a one year low of $91.72 and a one year high of $136.97. The stock has a market cap of $14.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.29 and a beta of 0.85.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $1.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $804.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $208.05 million. Equifax had a return on equity of 24.73% and a net margin of 15.87%. The business’s revenue was up 20.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.14 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Equifax will post $5.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 23rd will be issued a $0.33 dividend. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 21st. Equifax’s payout ratio is 33.42%.

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In related news, insider Paulino R. Barros sold 5,205 shares of Equifax stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.00, for a total value of $687,060.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,786 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,423,752. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director G. Thomas Hough bought 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The stock was bought at an average price of $113.91 per share, for a total transaction of $113,910.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 5,307 shares in the company, valued at $604,520.37. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 2.01% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of EFX. Mission Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Equifax by 0.3% in the second quarter. Mission Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,269 shares of the company’s stock worth $291,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the last quarter. Conning Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Equifax by 0.3% in the second quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 2,873 shares of the company’s stock valued at $369,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan boosted its stake in shares of Equifax by 0.3% in the third quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 3,760 shares of the company’s stock valued at $506,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC boosted its stake in shares of Equifax by 0.3% in the third quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC now owns 8,108 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,091,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Finally, Appleton Partners Inc. MA boosted its stake in shares of Equifax by 0.7% in the third quarter. Appleton Partners Inc. MA now owns 5,288 shares of the company’s stock valued at $712,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.81% of the company’s stock.

About Equifax

Equifax Inc is a provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments and consumers. The Company operates through four segments: U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), International, Workforce Solutions and Personal Solutions. USIS provides consumer and commercial information solutions to businesses in the United States, including online information, decisioning technology solutions, fraud and identity management services, portfolio management services, mortgage reporting and financial marketing services.

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