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Here's Why You Should Retain IHS Markit (INFO) Stock Now

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A prudent investment decision involves buying stocks that have solid prospects and selling those that carry risks. At times, it is rational to hold certain stocks that have enough potential but bear the brunt of tough market conditions.

We believe that IHS Markit Ltd. (INFO - Free Report) with long-term earnings per share growth rate of 12% and a market cap of $30.5 billion seems to be a stock that investors should retain in their portfolio for now. For fiscal 2020 and 2021, the bottom line is expected to grow 5.3% and 13.8%, respectively.

In the past year, the stock has rallied 15.8% against the 2.8% decline of the industry it belongs to.

Aiding Factors

Well diversified global customer base and strong brand recognition is aiding IHS Markit. The company intends to continue innovating and developing new product offerings, and investment priorities primarily in automotive, energy and financial services. IHS Markit’s business model ensures solid recurring revenue generation capacity, which enables the company to deliver stable revenues and predictable cash flows.

Furthermore, IHS Markit’s operational efficiency and financial discipline contributes to margin expansion. The company’s adjusted EBITDA margin expanded 320 basis points (bps) to 44.2% in the second quarter on a year-over-year basis.

Acquisition is a key growth strategy for IHS Markit. The buyout of Catena Technologies in May is expected to strengthen the quality and efficiency of the company’s trade reporting services. Likewise, the 2019 acquisition of Novation Analytics will likely enable the company to provide more holistic emissions modelling and simulation for automotive manufacturers and suppliers.

Risks Associated

IHS Markit has a debt-laden balance sheet. Total debt at the end of second-quarter fiscal 2020 was $5.39 billion, up from $5.21 billion at the end of the prior quarter. The debt-to-capital ratio of 0.40 is higher than the previous quarter’s 0.38. An increase in debt-to-capitalization ratio indicates increased risk of insolvency in challenging times.

Further, the company’s cash and cash equivalent of $208 million at the end of the second quarter was well below this debt level, underscoring that the company doesn’t have enough cash to meet this debt burden. Also, the cash level is not enough to clear the short-term debt of $251 million.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, IHS Markit has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Zacks Business Services sector are Republic Services (RSG), Elastic N.V. (ESTC) andCoreLogic (CLGX). Republic Services and Elastic stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) while CoreLogic sports a Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The long-term expected earnings per share (three to five years) growth rate for Republic Services, Elastic and CoreLogic is 7.8%, 25.9% and 12%, respectively.

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