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S&P Global (SPGI) Hits New 52-Week High: What's Driving It?

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Shares of S&P Global Inc. (SPGI - Free Report) scaled a new 52-week high of $275.75 in the trading session on Dec 6, before closing a tad lower at $274.38.

The company’s shares have charted a solid trajectory in recent times, appreciating 61.4% year to date, ahead of the 44.8% growth of the industry it belongs to and 24.5% rally of the Zacks S&P 500 composite.

 

Notably, S&P Global has witnessed a 3% rise in share price since it posted third-quarter 2019 results.

Let’s find out what’s supporting the uptick.

Upbeat 2019 EPS Guidance

S&P Global raised its 2019 guidance for adjusted earnings per share in the last two reported quarters.

During third-quarter 2019, the company raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance to $9.30-$9.40 from $9.10-$9.25 projected earlier.

Rising Demand for Business Information Services

S&P Global is gaining from increasing demand for business information services. Constantly increasing volume of data from private and government organizations has augmented the demand for improved enterprise-wide financial performance visibility. Higher demand for news, information, and analytics solutions will drive market’s growth. Further, the industry is benefiting from rising demand for risk mitigation. Changes in market dynamics are more or less a constant phenomenon and expose companies to credit fund as well as operational risks. Accurate market and financial information is required for risk mitigation, thereby spurring demand for business information services.

Strategic Acquisitions Bode Well

Acquisitions have been a key growth strategy for S&P Global, helping it continuously innovate, increase differentiated content and develop new products.

So far in 2019, the company has made acquisitions of 451 Research, Canadian Enerdata, Live Rice Index and Orion technology center. 451 Research should strengthen S&P Global Market Intelligence's emerging technology expertise and offerings. Canadian Enerdata enhances S&P Global's Platts division's energy analytical capabilities and strengthens its foothold in North American natural gas market. Live Rice Index is a great addition to S&P Global’s Platts global agriculture offering. Orion technology center provides the company’s employees with access to the latest technologies and global communications infrastructure.

On Nov 21, 2019, S&P Global announced that it has inked a deal to acquire the ESG Ratings Business from RobecoSAM. Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2020.

In 2018, the company acquired RateWatch, Kensho and Panjiva. RateWatch is a great addition to S&P Global’s bank data offering. The Kensho acquisition is helping S&P Global to improve its core operations by applying actionable insights through the use of AI solutions and sophisticated algorithms, thereby augmenting its efficacy. The Panjiva buyout enhanced the company’s Global Market Intelligence's data and analytical offerings for diverse customers across the globe, generating higher revenues.

The company is expected to continue adding advanced technology and data sets through acquisitions, which, in turn, should boost its top- and bottom-line growth.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Currently, S&P Global carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader Zacks Business Services sector are Global Payments (GPN - Free Report) , Mastercard (MA - Free Report) and Cardtronics (CATM - Free Report) . While Global Payments and Cardtronics sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Mastercard carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term expected EPS (three to five years) growth rate for Global Payments, Mastercard and Cardtronics is 17%, 16% and 4%, respectively.

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