Verisk Analytics (VRSK) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ:VRSK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Saturday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Verisk remains susceptible to operational risks related to security breaches at facilities, computer networks and databases, resulting in loss of its credibility and/or customers. Buyouts have increased its financial burden in the form of higher interest expenses over the past few years. Escalating investments for software development resulted in higher capital expenditures. On the flip side,  Verisk continues to benefit from higher organic revenue growth and acquisitions. The company's expertise in providing predictive data analytics decision provides it an edge over its competitors. It has a consistent record of rewarding its shareholders. Shares of Verisk have outperformed the industry in the past six months.”

VRSK has been the topic of a number of other reports. UBS Group boosted their target price on Verisk Analytics from $106.00 to $111.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 9th. Morgan Stanley set a $119.00 target price on Verisk Analytics and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. Deutsche Bank set a $137.00 target price on Verisk Analytics and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. BidaskClub lowered Verisk Analytics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 9th. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $137.00 target price on Verisk Analytics and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $120.82.

Shares of Verisk Analytics stock opened at $139.87 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $22.87 billion, a PE ratio of 34.03, a P/E/G ratio of 3.07 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a current ratio of 0.49, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99. Verisk Analytics has a 12-month low of $95.21 and a 12-month high of $140.41.

Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ:VRSK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 19th. The business services provider reported $1.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by ($0.03). The company had revenue of $613.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $613.07 million. Verisk Analytics had a return on equity of 32.77% and a net margin of 25.00%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.81 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Verisk Analytics will post 4.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Vincent De P. Mccarthy sold 3,090 shares of Verisk Analytics stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.92, for a total transaction of $386,002.80. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 37,127 shares in the company, valued at $4,637,904.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director David B. Wright sold 11,250 shares of Verisk Analytics stock in a transaction on Friday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $125.27, for a total value of $1,409,287.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 32,291 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,045,093.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 35,139 shares of company stock worth $4,461,097 in the last quarter. 2.71% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Suntrust Banks Inc. grew its stake in Verisk Analytics by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 22,973 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,504,000 after purchasing an additional 86 shares in the last quarter. Tandem Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Verisk Analytics by 1.5% in the first quarter. Tandem Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 5,935 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $789,000 after buying an additional 88 shares during the last quarter. Pitcairn Co. lifted its position in shares of Verisk Analytics by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Pitcairn Co. now owns 2,039 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $223,000 after buying an additional 92 shares during the last quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC lifted its position in shares of Verisk Analytics by 26.2% in the fourth quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 462 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $50,000 after buying an additional 96 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Utah Retirement Systems lifted its position in shares of Verisk Analytics by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 29,920 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,262,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.82% of the company’s stock.

Verisk Analytics Company Profile

Verisk Analytics, Inc provides data analytics solutions in the United States and internationally. It provides predictive analytics and decision support solutions to customers in rating, underwriting, claims, catastrophe and weather risk, natural resources intelligence, economic forecasting, and various other fields.

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