Global Payments (GPN) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Global Payments’ shares have outperformed its industry in a year's time. Its strategic investments in future growth projects and successful refinancing of credit facilities bode well. Consistent top-line growth and accretive acquisitions are impressive. Investment in technology has enabled it to stay ahead of the rapidly changing payments industry. Its solid 2019 guidance also impresses. The company’s operating cash flows have been increasing for the past many years. Nevertheless, the company suffers from a rising debt level. Moreover, its earnings are also expected to face currency volatility, owing to its worldwide presence. A low return on equity makes the stock unattractive.”

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Wedbush lifted their price target on Global Payments from $135.00 to $144.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, March 13th. Atlantic Securities downgraded Global Payments from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $133.36 price target on the stock. in a report on Thursday, March 21st. Piper Jaffray Companies lifted their price target on Global Payments to $152.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Mizuho raised their price objective on Global Payments to $136.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Global Payments from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Global Payments currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $135.64.

Shares of NYSE:GPN opened at $140.58 on Monday. Global Payments has a 12-month low of $94.81 and a 12-month high of $140.71. The firm has a market capitalization of $22.05 billion, a PE ratio of 27.09, a P/E/G ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 1.20. The company has a current ratio of 1.03, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.20.

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The business services provider reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.25 by $0.08. Global Payments had a return on equity of 19.11% and a net margin of 13.43%. The business had revenue of $1.04 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.04 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.07 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 12.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Global Payments will post 5.72 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th were given a $0.01 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $0.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.03%. Global Payments’s payout ratio is 0.77%.

In other Global Payments news, CEO Jeffrey Steven Sloan sold 167,545 shares of Global Payments stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $129.59, for a total transaction of $21,712,156.55. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 579,207 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $75,059,435.13. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Cameron M. Bready sold 34,308 shares of Global Payments stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.33, for a total value of $4,505,669.64. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 138,520 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,191,831.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 210,329 shares of company stock valued at $27,306,584 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of GPN. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in Global Payments by 14.7% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 4,520,530 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $575,914,000 after acquiring an additional 581,025 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in Global Payments by 4.8% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,128,906 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $143,822,000 after acquiring an additional 51,524 shares during the period. LPL Financial LLC lifted its position in Global Payments by 11.4% during the 3rd quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 19,206 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,447,000 after acquiring an additional 1,969 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Global Payments by 22.8% during the 3rd quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 8,792 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,120,000 after acquiring an additional 1,631 shares during the period. Finally, Man Group plc lifted its position in Global Payments by 1,477.2% during the 3rd quarter. Man Group plc now owns 40,659 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $5,180,000 after acquiring an additional 38,081 shares during the period. 98.80% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Global Payments

Global Payments Inc provides payment technology and software solutions for card, electronic, check, and digital-based payments. The company operates in three segments: North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. 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, and online reporting services.

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