Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Equifax (NYSE:EFX) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Last year's cyber attack at Equifax, under which criminals stole highly sensitive personal data of approximately 143 million of its consumers, has heavily tarnished the brand image, reputation and credibility of the company. The company is facing huge customer criticism, while cybersecurity companies are questioning its preparedness and response to this massive data breach. Moreover, with lawmakers and investigating agencies probing the mishap, troubles for Equifax are unlikely to end any time soon. We are concerned that the entire issue may result in loss of customers and the company may also have to make huge compensation to its clients. We believe the incident will certainly have an adverse impact on the company’s financial performance in the near term. Notably, the stock has underperformed the industry in the last one year.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. SunTrust Banks upped their target price on Equifax from $110.00 to $155.00 in a research note on Friday, September 15th. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Equifax from $127.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded Equifax from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and cut their target price for the stock from $135.00 to $127.00 in a research note on Friday, September 22nd. Argus cut Equifax from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, September 15th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on Equifax in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. They set a neutral rating and a $116.00 target price for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. Equifax has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $128.67.

Equifax (EFX) traded up $1.36 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $122.85. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,118,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,324,978. The company has a quick ratio of 0.67, a current ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64. Equifax has a 12-month low of $89.59 and a 12-month high of $147.02. The company has a market capitalization of $14,750.00, a PE ratio of 27.79, a PEG ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.95.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The credit services provider reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.49 by $0.04. Equifax had a return on equity of 24.45% and a net margin of 16.18%. The firm had revenue of $834.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $847.28 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.44 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Equifax will post 5.92 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 24th were paid a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.27%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, November 22nd. Equifax’s payout ratio is 35.29%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in EFX. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Equifax by 8.7% in the 2nd quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 2,500 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $344,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Equifax by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 731,638 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $100,542,000 after acquiring an additional 8,222 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. lifted its stake in shares of Equifax by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 2,536 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $348,000 after acquiring an additional 59 shares during the last quarter. WBI Investments Inc. bought a new position in shares of Equifax in the 2nd quarter valued at $1,680,000. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Equifax by 18.5% in the 2nd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 480,790 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $66,070,000 after acquiring an additional 75,144 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 95.20% of the company’s stock.

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Equifax Company Profile

Equifax Inc is a global provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments and consumers. The Company operates in four segments: U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), International, Workforce Solutions and Global Consumer Solutions. Its products and services are based on databases of consumer and business information derived from various sources, including credit, financial assets, telecommunications and utility payments, employment, income, demographic and marketing data.

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