Zacks Investment Research Lowers Nasdaq (NDAQ) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Nasdaq is successful at maximizing opportunities as a technology and analytics provider and at the same time growing core marketplace businesses. It remains focused on growth via acquisitions and organic initiatives, thereby enabling its entry and cross-selling opportunities into new markets and ramping up non-transaction revenue base. Its strong balance sheet helps it to invest in growth opportunities and engage in shareholder-friendly moves. Shares of Nasdaq have outperformed the industry year to date. But it has been witnessing elevated expenses, which limits margin expansion. High debt level induced increase in interest expenses.  It estimates 2019 non-GAAP operating expenses in the range of $1.325-$1.375 billion.”

NDAQ has been the subject of several other research reports. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Nasdaq from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. ValuEngine cut shares of Nasdaq from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, January 7th. Raymond James reduced their target price on shares of Nasdaq from $97.00 to $96.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 5th. Atlantic Securities began coverage on shares of Nasdaq in a report on Wednesday, November 28th. They set an overweight rating and a $105.00 target price for the company. Finally, Argus began coverage on shares of Nasdaq in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. They set a buy rating and a $97.00 target price for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $96.00.

Nasdaq stock opened at $83.55 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $13.82 billion, a PE ratio of 17.26, a P/E/G ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.64. Nasdaq has a twelve month low of $75.49 and a twelve month high of $96.84. The company has a quick ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54.

Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 30th. The financial services provider reported $1.26 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.02. Nasdaq had a net margin of 10.71% and a return on equity of 14.53%. The business had revenue of $645.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $642.95 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.05 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Nasdaq will post 5.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a $0.44 dividend. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. Nasdaq’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.36%.

In other Nasdaq news, insider Bradley J. Peterson sold 6,159 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.48, for a total value of $526,471.32. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 39,482 shares in the company, valued at $3,374,921.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Pc Nelson Griggs sold 1,339 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.24, for a total transaction of $120,831.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 13,339 shares of company stock valued at $1,114,349. Corporate insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. MUFG Securities EMEA plc lifted its stake in Nasdaq by 194.7% in the fourth quarter. MUFG Securities EMEA plc now owns 9,200 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $750,000 after acquiring an additional 6,078 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Nasdaq in the fourth quarter valued at $93,156,000. CWM Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Nasdaq by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. CWM Advisors LLC now owns 6,310 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $515,000 after acquiring an additional 447 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its stake in Nasdaq by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 203,838 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $16,631,000 after acquiring an additional 6,740 shares during the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its stake in Nasdaq by 11.2% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 164,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $11,724,000 after acquiring an additional 16,600 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.23% of the company’s stock.

Nasdaq Company Profile

Nasdaq, Inc provides trading, clearing, marketplace technology, regulatory, securities listing, information, and public and private company services worldwide. The company's Market Services segment offers equity derivative trading and clearing; cash equity trading; fixed income and commodities trading and clearing; and trade management services.

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