Verisk Analytics Inc. (VRSK): Street Finally Waking Up

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    With over 0.49 million Verisk Analytics Inc. (VRSK) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $181.35 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $88.67 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 3.49% and its price on 07/21/20 gained nearly 0.37%. Currently, there are 162.89M common shares owned by the public and among those 160.57M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 17 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for VRSK have a consensus price objective of $168.67. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $191.00 and a low of $147.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Verisk Analytics Inc. stock is 2.50 for the next 12 months. The average price target is -7.99% below its last price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -23.37% over that period. But an upside of 5.05% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $164.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 102 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 57 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 669,552 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 45 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 654,530 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Verisk Analytics Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, and Parnassus Core Equity Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 4.62 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $786.32 million. The company sold 96187.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.85% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund sold -0.26 million shares to see its total holdings shrink to 4.01 million shares valued at over $682.94 million and representing 2.47% of the shares outstanding. Parnassus Core Equity Fund bought 14110.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 3.59 million shares at a value of $610.67 million. Parnassus Core Equity Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.21% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Verisk Analytics Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSK) opened at $181.83, up $1.15 from a prior closing price of $180.68. However, the script later closed the day at $181.35, up 0.37%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 3.49% and 24.43% over the past three months. VRSK shares are trading 20.99% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 20.05% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $116.61 and touched a high of $182.55 over the same period. Currently, 0.49 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 916.91K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 5.27%, 8.53%, and 16.47% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Verisk Analytics Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSK) shares accounts for 91.70% of the company’s 162.89M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 36.26%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 55.60% and 1.80% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $28.83B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.70. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 61.64, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $2.93. The company has a PEG of 7.20 and a Quick Ratio of 0.50 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 1.49. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 1.70% over the week and 2.46% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Verisk Analytics Inc. (VRSK) will achieve an EPS of $1.19 for the current quarter, $1.19 for the next quarter and $5.22 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $1.13 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.28. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.1 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -24.20%, and 9.50% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 8.56% over the next five years, compared to 5.20% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 17 brokerage firm advisors rate Verisk Analytics Inc. (VRSK) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.50. Specifically, 6 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 9 of the 17 advise that investors “hold,” and 1 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the VRSK, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. RBC Capital Mkts stated their Sector Perform rating for the stock in a research note on March 31, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $144. Morgan Stanley coverage for the Verisk Analytics Inc. (VRSK) stock in a research note released on January 07, 2020 offered a Overweight rating with a price target of $176. Jefferies was of a view on November 22, 2019 that the stock is Buy, while Evercore ISI gave the stock In-line rating on October 31, 2019, issuing a price target of $154. Keefe Bruyette on their part issued Mkt Perform rating on September 23, 2019.

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