Nasdaq (NDAQ) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Wednesday, September 12th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Nasdaq have underperformed the industry quarter to date. Elevated expenses restrict the desired margin expansion. It estimates 2018 non-GAAP operating expenses in the range of $1.310-$1.335 billion and the margin to contract in 2018 and 2019. The company also witnessed Zacks Consensus Estimate move down 0.8% to $4.82 and 1.1% to $5.22 in the last 60 days.  Nonetheless, Nasdaq remains focused on growth via acquisitions and organic initiatives, thus enabling its entry and cross-selling opportunities into the new markets on a low-cost and highly-flexible platform. The company displays prudence by building its non-transaction revenue base. Nasdaq reviews its operations to ramp up the growth profile and intends to lower capital resources in business that fail to offer sizeable growth. A healthy balance sheet and cash position aid in de-leveraging the company, investing in growth initiatives and engaging in shareholder-friendly moves.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on NDAQ. Compass Point began coverage on shares of Nasdaq in a report on Friday, June 22nd. They issued a neutral rating and a $100.00 target price on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a buy rating and issued a $104.00 target price on shares of Nasdaq in a report on Friday, June 22nd. Citigroup raised their target price on shares of Nasdaq from $89.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a $95.59 rating in a report on Wednesday, July 18th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Nasdaq from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, June 27th. Finally, UBS Group raised their target price on shares of Nasdaq from $101.00 to $107.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $93.67.

NASDAQ:NDAQ traded down $0.30 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $85.53. 601,965 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 919,976. Nasdaq has a one year low of $71.65 and a one year high of $96.84. The firm has a market cap of $14.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.07, a P/E/G ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.93.

Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.18 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.01. Nasdaq had a net margin of 18.13% and a return on equity of 13.40%. The business had revenue of $615.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $620.25 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.02 earnings per share. Nasdaq’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Nasdaq will post 4.82 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 14th were paid a dividend of $0.44 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 13th. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.06%. Nasdaq’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.35%.

In other Nasdaq news, insider Bradley J. Peterson sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.34, for a total transaction of $140,010.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. CIBC Asset Management Inc grew its stake in shares of Nasdaq by 4.6% in the 2nd quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 12,547 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,145,000 after acquiring an additional 553 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank lifted its holdings in Nasdaq by 6.0% during the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 15,065 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,375,000 after purchasing an additional 852 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in Nasdaq by 98.6% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 612,338 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $55,888,000 after purchasing an additional 304,083 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Nasdaq by 2.2% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,262,515 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $754,118,000 after purchasing an additional 176,258 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alphinity Investment Management Pty Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Nasdaq in the second quarter worth about $19,613,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.67% 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.

Further Reading: Return on Investment (ROI) Defined, Explained

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