) scaled its 52-week high of $79.13 on Aug 26, following the
announcement of completed acquisition of India-based NettPositive
Business Analytics Pvt. Ltd., which offers business intelligence
solutions to the financial services, insurance, retail and
telecommunications industries in India, the Middle East and
The company already holds a majority share in this analytics
firm since 2012, and is soon expected to acquire the remaining 49%,
subject to approvals. The complete acquisition of NettPositive
blends well with Equifax's business strategy of tapping relevant
growth opportunities in emerging markets.
Notably, this leading electronic payment provider has been
riding strong growth momentum, with shares rising 5.9% since the
company reported second-quarter 2014 results in the third week of
Yesterday's closing price represented a robust one-year return
of about 25.8% against a return of 202.2% clocked by the S&P
500 index. Average volume of shares traded over the last three
months stands at approximately 326K.
Equifax also maintained its earnings streak in all the past four
quarters, with an average beat of 2.2%. On Jul 23, the company
reported second-quarter 2014 earnings per share (EPS) of 96 cents,
beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2% and the year-ago quarter
figure by 5%.
The momentum of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has been driven
by the company's strategic growth initiatives, adequate liquidity
and competitiveness over other larger players.
Solid Growth Outlook
Equifax's strong growth guidance raises optimism in the stock.
The company's growth prospects have boosted investors' sentiment as
Management also remains optimistic, as reflected in its EPS
projection of 96-99 cents and top-line guidance of $620-625 million
in third-quarter 2014. Moreover, Equifax is expected to generate
revenues of about $2.44-2.47 billion and EPS of $3.83-3.91 in 2014.
The yearly guidance is higher than previously estimated revenues of
$2.43-2.48 billion and EPS of $3.75-3.89.
Meanwhile, one could also consider other financial stocks like
FleetCor Technologies, Inc. (
), Euronet Worldwide Inc. (
) and WEX Inc. (
), allof which have the same Zacks Rank as Equifax.
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