Nasdaq (NDAQ) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Nasdaq has been witnessing elevated expenses, restricting 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 as well. Shares of Nasdaq have lagged the industry in a year. Though the company has Earnings ESP of +3.16%, its Zacks Rank #4 makes surprise prediction difficult as it report fourth quarter results on Jan 30. Nonetheless, Nasdaq remains focused on growth via acquisitions and organic initiatives, thereby enabling its entry and cross-selling opportunities into the new markets on a low-cost platform and ramp up 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, investing in growth initiatives and engaging in shareholder-friendly moves.”

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on NDAQ. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Nasdaq from $88.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, December 3rd. BidaskClub downgraded Nasdaq from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Saturday, September 22nd. Atlantic Securities began coverage on Nasdaq in a research report on Wednesday, November 28th. They set an overweight rating and a $105.00 price objective for the company. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Nasdaq from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $95.71.

Shares of Nasdaq stock opened at $80.70 on Friday. Nasdaq has a one year low of $72.98 and a one year high of $96.84. The stock has a market cap of $13.11 billion, a PE ratio of 19.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.94 and a quick ratio of 0.94.

Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $1.15 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.01. Nasdaq had a return on equity of 13.69% and a net margin of 17.95%. The business had revenue of $600.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $605.67 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.01 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Nasdaq will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 14th were issued a $0.44 dividend. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.18%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 13th. Nasdaq’s payout ratio is currently 43.35%.

In other news, Director Lars Wedenborn sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.94, for a total value of $224,850.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann M. Dennison sold 1,553 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.67, for a total value of $129,939.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NDAQ. Capital World Investors purchased a new stake in shares of Nasdaq during the third quarter worth approximately $333,215,000. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Nasdaq by 82.1% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,651,639 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $150,746,000 after purchasing an additional 744,666 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in shares of Nasdaq by 55.6% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 952,755 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $81,746,000 after purchasing an additional 340,417 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia raised its stake in shares of Nasdaq by 2,082.1% during the second quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 323,054 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $29,484,000 after purchasing an additional 308,249 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Segantii Capital Management Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Nasdaq during the third quarter worth approximately $19,305,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.48% of the company’s stock.

About Nasdaq

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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