Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:MKTX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Thursday morning. They currently have $190.00 target price 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 stock. William Blair initiated coverage on shares of MarketAxess Holdings in a research note on Monday, June 20th. They issued a market perform rating for the company. Raymond James Financial Inc. downgraded shares of MarketAxess Holdings from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Citigroup Inc. downgraded shares of MarketAxess Holdings to a market perform rating in a research report on Friday, July 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods boosted their price objective on shares of MarketAxess Holdings from $165.00 to $175.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG restated a sell rating and set a $106.00 price objective on shares of MarketAxess Holdings in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $140.75.

Shares of MarketAxess Holdings (NASDAQ:MKTX) opened at 170.74 on Thursday. MarketAxess Holdings has a one year low of $86.19 and a one year high of $178.21. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $166.47 and its 200-day moving average price is $142.84. The company has a market capitalization of $6.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 58.88 and a beta of 0.76.

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

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

In other news, insider Nicholas Themelis sold 6,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were 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 owns 70,799 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,710,154.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 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 transaction of $1,667,900.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 59,494 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,923,004.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 4.51% of the company’s stock.

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

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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