Shares of Verisk Analytics, Inc. (VRSK - Free Report) have gained 12.2% on a year-to-date basis against 5.5% decline of the industry it belongs to and 12.3% decline of the Zacks S&P 500 composite.
Catalysts Behind the Upside
Solid Organic Growth
Verisk continues to witness organic revenue growth driven by increase in new customers for existing solutions, cross-sale of its existing solutions to current customers and the sale of new solutions. In the first nine months of 2018, total revenues grew 7% organically and 6.3% on an organic constant-currency basis. This marks an improvement from 2017 when total revenues grew 4.5% organically and 5.3% on an organic constant currency basis.
Acquisitions Boosting Service Offerings
Acquisitions have been one of the key growth catalysts for Verisk. The company has been continuously acquiring and investing in companies globally to expand its data and analytics capabilities across industries.
On Dec 3, Verisk inked a deal to acquire business intelligence and software solutions provider for the London insurance market, Rulebook for $87 million. We believe that the buyout will boost the company’s Insurance segment, be accretive it’s adjusted EPS in 2019 and generate an attractive return in excess of the company's cost of capital.
Verisk acquired three other companies in 2018 — Validus-IVC Limited on Jun 20, Business Insight Limited on Feb 21 and Marketview Limited on Jan 5. While the buyout of Validus will help improve and automate the claims settlement process, the other two acquisitions will help Verisk in its predictive analytics and consumer spending analytics decision making.The company completed 21 acquisitions from 2015-2017.
Data Analytics Suite
Verisk’s expertise in providing predictive data analytics decision by using advanced technologies to collect and interpret different types of data sets is impressive. The company mainly uses advanced technologies such as latest remote sensing and machine learning along with cloud computing. The majority of the technologies used by Verisk are developed, maintained and supported by almost 20% of its employees. Its efforts to stay technologically updated to meet varying client demands and its technical prowess in analytics and Big Data provide Verisk an edge over its competitors.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Verisk currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Zacks Business Services sector are Interpublic (IPG - Free Report) , Automatic Data Processing (ADP - Free Report) and Navigant Consulting (NCI - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Long-term expected EPS (three to five years) growth rates for Interpublic, Automatic Data Processing and Navigant are 7.4%, 12.5% and 13.5%, respectively.
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