Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Nielsen (NLSN) to Sell

Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Nielsen is being impacted by sluggishness in the U.S. Buy segment and unimpressive performance in the emerging markets. Further, the company’s continued investments in technology and infrastructure remain risks for margin expansion and profitability, going forward. Notably, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to on a year-to-date basis. Nevertheless, the company's improving performance in the Watch segment and benefits from Gracenote acquisition are positives for the company’s market share. Moreover, the company’s Connected Partner Program bodes well for improving clientele. Also, regular dividend payment and share repurchase reflect Nielsen’s financial strength and commitment to return value to shareholders. However, mounting competition in the digital space poses a major threat to the company’s market position.”

NLSN has been the subject of a number of other reports. Morgan Stanley set a $27.00 price target on shares of Nielsen and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $26.00 price target on shares of Nielsen in a research note on Friday, July 27th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Nielsen from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. SunTrust Banks set a $26.00 target price on shares of Nielsen and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 28th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Nielsen from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $20.00 to $25.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 23rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Nielsen has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.67.

Shares of NLSN stock opened at $25.18 on Wednesday. Nielsen has a 52 week low of $20.53 and a 52 week high of $39.25. The company has a market capitalization of $8.94 billion, a PE ratio of 11.93, a P/E/G ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.97, a current ratio of 1.14 and a quick ratio of 1.14.

Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The business services provider reported $0.27 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25 by $0.02. Nielsen had a net margin of 4.85% and a return on equity of 14.56%. The firm had revenue of $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.58 billion. Equities research analysts anticipate that Nielsen will post 1.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Nielsen by 19.9% during the second quarter. Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC now owns 15,109 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $467,000 after purchasing an additional 2,503 shares in the last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board lifted its holdings in Nielsen by 0.8% during the second quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 327,497 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $10,129,000 after purchasing an additional 2,515 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in Nielsen by 0.8% during the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 353,244 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $9,771,000 after purchasing an additional 2,800 shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. lifted its holdings in Nielsen by 77.5% during the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 6,477 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $200,000 after purchasing an additional 2,827 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System lifted its holdings in shares of Nielsen by 0.6% in the second quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 482,848 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $14,934,000 after buying an additional 2,940 shares in the last quarter.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an information and measurement company. It operates through Buy and Watch segments. The company provides media and marketing information, analytics, and manufacturer and retailer expertise about what and where consumers buy, read, watch, and listen.

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