Investment Analysts’ Recent Ratings Updates for Nielsen (NLSN)

Several brokerages have updated their recommendations and price targets on shares of Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) in the last few weeks:

  • 12/13/2018 – Nielsen was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Nielsen’s well performing Watch segment remains the key driver of its top-line growth. Continued strength in Audience Measurement is a tailwind. Further, positive contributions from Gracenote acquisition are major positives. Moreover, strong share buyback policy of the company is helping it in gaining investors’ confidence. We believe the company’s consistent investment in product portfolio and its growing client adoption are expected to continue aiding its business growth in the near term as well as in the long haul. However, 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. Notably, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to on a year-to-date basis.”
  • 12/7/2018 – Nielsen is now covered by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG. They set a “neutral” rating and a $29.00 price target on the stock.
  • 12/7/2018 – Nielsen was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Nielsen 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, weakness in the U.S. Buy segment and unimpressive performance in the emerging markets remain concerns. 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. Mounting competition in the digital space also poses a major threat to the company’s market position.”
  • 11/30/2018 – Nielsen was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Nielsen’s well performing Watch segment remains the key driver of its top-line growth. Its continued strength in Audience Measurement is a tailwind. Further, positive contributions from Gracenote acquisition are major positives. Moreover, strong share buyback policy of the company is helping it in gaining investors’ confidence. We believe the company’s consistent investment in product portfolio and its growing clientele are expected to continue aiding its business growth in the near term as well as in the long haul. However, 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. Notably, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to on a year-to-date basis.”
  • 11/21/2018 – Nielsen was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. 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.”
  • 11/14/2018 – Nielsen had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks Investment Research. According to Zacks, “Nielsen reported weak third-quarter results, owing to 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.”
  • 10/29/2018 – Nielsen had its price target lowered by analysts at SunTrust Banks, Inc. from $28.00 to $27.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 10/22/2018 – Nielsen was upgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating.

NYSE:NLSN opened at $25.30 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $9.13 billion, a PE ratio of 11.99, a P/E/G ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 0.85. Nielsen Holdings PLC has a 52 week low of $20.53 and a 52 week high of $39.25. 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 posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The business services provider reported $0.27 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.58 billion. Nielsen had a return on equity of 14.56% and a net margin of 4.85%. Equities research analysts anticipate that Nielsen Holdings PLC will post 1.95 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 5th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st were issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 20th. Nielsen’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 66.35%.

In other news, SVP Jeffrey Charlton sold 6,337 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.46, for a total transaction of $174,014.02. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd bought a new position in shares of Nielsen during the second quarter valued at approximately $188,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Nielsen by 175.8% during the third quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,104 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $169,000 after buying an additional 3,891 shares during the period. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Nielsen by 112.1% during the third quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,150 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $170,000 after buying an additional 3,250 shares during the period. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. boosted its position in shares of 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 worth $200,000 after buying an additional 2,827 shares during the period. Finally, Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Nielsen during the third quarter worth approximately $187,000. 95.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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