TransUnion (TRU) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “TransUnion is poised for impressive growth in several of its end markets with an attractive business model, significant operating leverage, low capital requirements and strong and stable cash flows. Increased risk of identity theft due to data breaches and high consumer awareness about the usage of credit information are further propelling demand. As emerging market economies continue to develop and mature, the company is well-positioned to gain from the associated favorable socio-economic trends. The company also outperformed the industry in the last three months. However, TransUnion operates in a highly competitive market, which restricts its pricing power and limits profitability to some extent. The company’s revenues are significantly affected by industry trends like demand for information services in insurance, financial services and healthcare industry. TransUnion’s performance is also affected by seasonality issues.”
Several other brokerages have also weighed in on TRU. Royal Bank of Canada restated a buy rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of TransUnion in a report on Friday, October 27th. Barclays restated an overweight rating and issued a $50.00 price objective (up from $48.00) on shares of TransUnion in a report on Thursday, September 14th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on shares of TransUnion from $54.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of TransUnion from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Cowen restated a buy rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of TransUnion in a report on Thursday, October 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $57.55.
TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The business services provider reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.06. TransUnion had a net margin of 13.17% and a return on equity of 21.37%. The business had revenue of $498.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $475.52 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.38 earnings per share. TransUnion’s revenue was up 13.8% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that TransUnion will post 1.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other TransUnion news, CEO James M. Peck sold 200,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.74, for a total value of $10,948,000.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 402,343 shares in the company, valued at $22,024,255.82. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO James M. Peck sold 18,106 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.25, for a total transaction of $946,038.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 202,343 shares in the company, valued at $10,572,421.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 4,630,224 shares of company stock worth $243,986,497. Company insiders own 2.10% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. DnB Asset Management AS acquired a new stake in TransUnion in the fourth quarter worth $687,000. Atlantic Trust Group LLC raised its holdings in TransUnion by 48.5% in the third quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 242,954 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $11,482,000 after purchasing an additional 79,329 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its holdings in TransUnion by 21.4% in the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 65,083 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,076,000 after purchasing an additional 11,485 shares during the period. Sterling Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in TransUnion in the third quarter worth $1,778,000. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its holdings in TransUnion by 20.1% in the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 2,584,349 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $122,136,000 after purchasing an additional 433,060 shares during the period.
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TransUnion is a risk and information solutions provider to businesses and consumers. The Company provides consumer reports, risk scores, analytical services and decision capabilities to businesses. The Company operates through three segments: U.S. Information Services (USIS), International and Consumer Interactive.
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