Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:MKTX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Thursday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $190.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “MarketAxess Holdings is poised to grow over the long term from a consistent increase in trading volumes, launch of new products and increasing client base. The acquisition of Xtracker, other alliances, continued growth in Europe should also support top-line growth. Further, MarketAxess enjoys strong liquidity and a steady capital position, which enables it to buy back shares and increase dividend from time to time. In addition, the Zacks Consensus earnings estimates for 2016 has been revised up by 3.5% to $3.24 over the past 60 days. The same for 2017 is also up 3.7% to $3.90 over the same time frame. However, its expense management continues to raise concerns. Increase in employee compensation and benefits, along with other operating expenses, has drained the company's bottom line. Intense competition due to increased market consolidation and new entrants has reduced the company's market share.”

Analyst Recommendations for MarketAxess Holdings (NASDAQ:MKTX)

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a sell rating and issued a $106.00 price objective on shares of MarketAxess Holdings in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods boosted their price objective on MarketAxess Holdings from $165.00 to $175.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Raymond James Financial Inc. downgraded MarketAxess Holdings from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Citigroup Inc. downgraded MarketAxess Holdings to a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, July 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, William Blair began coverage on MarketAxess Holdings in a research note on Monday, June 20th. They issued a market perform rating on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $140.75.

MarketAxess Holdings (NASDAQ:MKTX) opened at 170.74 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 58.88 and a beta of 0.76. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $166.47 and its 200 day moving average is $142.84. MarketAxess Holdings has a 12-month low of $86.19 and a 12-month high of $178.21.

MarketAxess Holdings (NASDAQ:MKTX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.85 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $96.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $93.98 million. MarketAxess Holdings had a return on equity of 27.14% and a net margin of 32.52%. The firm’s revenue was up 27.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.64 EPS. Equities analysts expect that MarketAxess Holdings will post $3.23 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 25th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 11th were issued a dividend of $0.26 per share. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.61%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 9th. MarketAxess Holdings’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.86%.

In other MarketAxess Holdings news, insider Nicholas Themelis sold 6,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $165.40, for a total transaction of $1,025,480.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 70,799 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,710,154.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Antonio L. Delise sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.79, for a total value of $1,667,900.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 59,494 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,923,004.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 4.51% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Baillie Gifford & Co. raised its stake in shares of MarketAxess Holdings by 68.9% in the second quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 2,753,102 shares of the company’s stock worth $400,302,000 after buying an additional 1,123,477 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in shares of MarketAxess Holdings by 48.0% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 2,073,652 shares of the company’s stock worth $258,853,000 after buying an additional 672,157 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of MarketAxess Holdings by 2.8% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,232,111 shares of the company’s stock worth $153,799,000 after buying an additional 33,815 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of MarketAxess Holdings by 1.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,109,950 shares of the company’s stock worth $161,387,000 after buying an additional 20,023 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of MarketAxess Holdings by 2.1% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 843,549 shares of the company’s stock worth $122,652,000 after buying an additional 17,699 shares in the last quarter. 92.48% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About MarketAxess Holdings

MarketAxess Holdings Inc (MarketAxess) is an electronic trading platform. The Company operates as an electronic multi-party platform for the trading of fixed-income securities and provides related data, analytics, compliance tools and post-trade services. The Company’s multi-dealer trading platform allows its institutional investor clients to request bids or offers from its broker-dealer clients and execute trades with the broker-dealer of their choice from among those that choose to respond.

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