S&P Global (SPGI) Beats Q3 Earnings Estimates, Ups EPS View
S&P Global Inc. SPGI reported better-than-expected third-quarter 2020 results.
Adjusted earnings per share of $2.85 beat the consensus mark by 8% and improved 16% year over year on the back of revenue growth, productivity programs, and reduced expenses from COVID-19-related management actions.
Revenues of $1.85 billion beat the consensus estimate by 5.4% and improved 9% year over year.
So far this year, shares of S&P Global have gained 22.1% against 4.3% decline of the industry it belongs to. Meanwhile, the Zacks S&P 500 composite has gained 5.8%.
Let’s check out the numbers in detail.
Ratings revenues of $894 million increased 13% year over year owing to solid bond issuance partially offset by lower bank loan rating activity. Transaction revenues grew 22% to $490 million, owing to strong bond issuance among U.S. corporates, global sovereigns, and U.S. public finance. Non-transaction revenues improved 4% to $404 million.
Market Intelligence revenues were up 9% year over year to $530 million, primarily driven by growth in Data Management Solutions, Credit Risk Solutions, and Desktop and the inclusion of 451 Research.
Platts revenues rose 5% to $222 million, backed by growth in the core subscription business partially offset by lower Global Trading Services activity.
S&P Dow Jones Indices revenues increased 1% to $234 million, backed by modest gains in asset-linked fees and data and custom subscriptions. These were partially offset by reduced exchange-traded derivative fees.
Adjusted operating profit margin improved 100 basis points (bps) to 52.9%, owing to revenue growth, productivity programs and reduced expenses from coronavirus-related management actions.
Segment wise, Ratings adjusted operating profit increased 16% to $552 million. Adjusted operating profit margin improved 130 bps to 61.8%.
Market Intelligence adjusted operating profit increased 14% to $179 million. Adjusted operating profit margin improved 160 bps to 33.8%.
Platts’ adjusted operating profit increased 10% to $124 million and adjusted operating profit margin increased 280 bps to 55.7%.
S&P Dow Jones adjusted operating profit decreased 7% to $153 million. Adjusted operating profit margin declined 510 bps to 65.2%.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
S&P Global exited third-quarter 2020 with cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash of $3.17 billion compared with $2.68 billion at the end of the prior quarter. Long-term debt was $4.11 billion compared with $3.95 billion at the end of the prior quarter.
The company generated $809 million of cash from operating activities in the reported quarter. Free cash flow was $733 million.
During the reported quarter, the company returned $172 million to shareholders. This included $161 million in dividends and $11 million in share repurchases (which marked the ending of the share repurchase program initiated in February of this year).
S&P Global raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance in the range of $11.30-$11.45 from the prior guidance of $10.75-$10.95. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11.17 lies below the updated guidance range.
Currently, S&P Global carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Performance of Other Business Services Companies
Equifax EFX reported better-than-expected third-quarter 2020 results, with adjusted earnings of $1.87 per share beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16.2% and improving 26.4% on a year-over-year basis. The reported figure exceeded the guided range of $1.30-$1.40.
The Interpublic Group of Companies IPG reported better-than-expected third-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings of 53 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 43.2% and improved 8.2% on a year-over-year basis.
IQVIA Holdings IQV reported solid third-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share of $1.63, which beat the consensus mark by 8% and improved 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. The reported figure was above the guided range of $1.47-$1.55.
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