Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) Shares Gap Down on Analyst Downgrade

Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE:NLSN) gapped down prior to trading on Friday after Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on the stock from $27.00 to $25.00. The stock had previously closed at $20.51, but opened at $19.91. Morgan Stanley currently has an overweight rating on the stock. Nielsen shares last traded at $20.29, with a volume of 202,752 shares trading hands.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on NLSN. Citigroup set a $28.00 price objective on Nielsen and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, August 16th. ValuEngine cut Nielsen from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, November 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Nielsen currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $26.00.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NLSN. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Nielsen by 7.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 41,874,992 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $946,375,000 after purchasing an additional 2,953,745 shares during the period. Windacre Partnership LLC increased its holdings in shares of Nielsen by 15.4% in the second quarter. Windacre Partnership LLC now owns 19,992,000 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $451,819,000 after purchasing an additional 2,674,500 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its holdings in shares of Nielsen by 119.8% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,381,200 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $99,015,000 after purchasing an additional 2,387,500 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Nielsen by 27,041.1% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 2,322,738 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $52,495,000 after purchasing an additional 2,314,180 shares during the period. Finally, Invesco Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Nielsen by 12.8% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 13,773,681 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $311,285,000 after purchasing an additional 1,559,115 shares during the period. 96.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The firm has a market cap of $7.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a quick ratio of 1.07, a current ratio of 1.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.90. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $20.92 and a 200-day moving average price of $22.33.

Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The business services provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.61 billion. Nielsen had a positive return on equity of 18.97% and a negative net margin of 10.70%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.27 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts expect that Nielsen Holdings PLC will post 1.69 earnings per share for the current year.

Nielsen Company Profile (NYSE:NLSN)

Nielsen Holdings plc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a measurement and data analytics company. It operates in two segments, Buy and Watch. The Buy segment provides retail transactional measurement data, consumer behavior information, and analytics primarily to businesses in the consumer packaged goods industry.

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