Global Payments (GPN) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Global Payments' shares have outperformed its industry year to date. The company’s investment in future growth-driving projects, efforts to progress with the Heartland integration and successful refinancing of its credit facilities bode well for the long term. It is witnessing sustained growth in its business from Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. Following the strong 2017 earnings, Global Payments gave a favorable 2018 earnings guidance, thereby instilling our confidence in it. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 6.5% upward over the last 60 days.  Nevertheless, the company suffers from high debt levels and an exposure to currency volatility. The company is set to report first quarter results on Apr 30. A favorable Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +0.35% makes us confident of an earnings beat this quarter.”

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A number of other brokerages also recently commented on GPN. Stephens reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 price target on shares of Global Payments in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. KeyCorp lifted their price target on shares of Global Payments from $110.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 16th. Citigroup lifted their price target on shares of Global Payments from $122.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 16th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Global Payments in a report on Friday, February 16th. Finally, Deutsche Bank lifted their price target on shares of Global Payments and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and twenty-two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $110.08.

NYSE:GPN traded up $1.18 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $111.62. 260,623 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,071,268. The company has a current ratio of 1.13, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15. Global Payments has a 1 year low of $78.17 and a 1 year high of $118.94. The company has a market capitalization of $17,501.50, a P/E ratio of 27.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.11.

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 15th. The business services provider reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.01. Global Payments had a net margin of 11.78% and a return on equity of 17.94%. The firm had revenue of $1.05 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $943.39 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.89 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Global Payments will post 4.85 earnings per share for the current year.

Global Payments announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 15th that authorizes the company to repurchase $600.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the business services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Alan M. Silberstein sold 5,900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.15, for a total value of $697,085.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 46,497 shares in the company, valued at $5,493,620.55. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director William I. Jacobs sold 600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.00, for a total transaction of $66,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 35,875 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,946,250. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 14,200 shares of company stock valued at $1,656,065. 0.98% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in GPN. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. acquired a new position in Global Payments during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $120,000. SWS Partners acquired a new position in Global Payments during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $163,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its position in Global Payments by 2,412.1% during the fourth quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,658 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $166,000 after buying an additional 1,592 shares in the last quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC acquired a new position in Global Payments during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Finally, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI acquired a new position in Global Payments during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $233,000. 96.75% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Global Payments Company Profile

Global Payments Inc provides payment technology and software solutions for credit cards, debit cards, electronic payments, and check-related services. It offers authorization services, settlement and funding services, customer support and help-desk functions, chargeback resolution, terminal rental, sales and deployment, payment security services, consolidated billing and statements, online reporting, industry compliance, and payment card industry security services.

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