Equifax Inc. (EFX - Free Report) reported solid fourth-quarter 2019 results, wherein the company’s earnings and revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Adjusted earnings of $1.53 per share beat the consensus mark by 2.7% and improved 11% on a year-over-year basis. The reported figure exceeded the guided range of $1.47-$1.52.
Revenues of $905.8 million outpaced the consensus estimate by 0.9% and improved 8% year over year on a reported basis and 10% on a local currency basis. The reported figure exceeded the guided range of $885-$900 million.
In 2019, Equifax made significant progress in its multi-year $1.25 billion EFX 2020 cloud technology transformation, along with the ongoing migration of its data, analytics, and application infrastructure to cloud native technology.
Over the past year, shares of Equifax have gained 41.9% compared with 40.9% growth of the industry it belongs to and 21.4% increase of the Zacks S&P 500 composite.
Let’s check out the numbers in detail.
Revenues in the USIS division came in at $330.9 million, up 8% from the year-ago quarter’s number. Within the division, Online Information Solutions revenues of $227.3 million were up 8% year over year. Mortgage Solutions revenues of $32.5 million improved 19% year over year. Financial Marketing Services revenues came in at $71.1 million, up 3% year over year. The segment contributed 37% to total revenues.
Revenues in the International division totaled $235.9 million, down slightly year over year on a reported basis but up 4% on a local currency basis. Asia Pacific revenues of $73.7 million declined 4% year over year on a reported basis but grew 1% on a local currency basis. Revenues from Europe came in at $76.3 million, which grew slightly year over year on a reported basis and 1% on a local currency basis. Latin America revenues of $46.4 million declined 3% year over year on a reported basis but grew 11% on a local currency basis. Canada revenues of $39.5 million rose 9% year over year on a reported basis and on a local currency basis. The International segment contributed 26% to total revenues.
Revenues in the Workforce Solutions segment totaled $250.5 million, up 22% from the year-ago quarter’s figure. Within the segment, Verification Services revenues of $193.6 million were up 33% year over year. Employer Services revenues of $56.9 million were down 6% year over year. Workforce Solutions contributed 27% to total revenues.
Revenues in the Global Consumer Solutions segment amounted to $88.5 million, up 3% year over year on a reported basis and local currency basis. The segment contributed 10% to total revenues.
Adjusted EBITDA margin n the fourth quarter of 2019 rose to 35.2% from 33.2% in the year-ago quarter.
Adjusted EBITDA margin for USIS was 45.1% compared with 47.5% in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the International segment was 36.4% compared with 32.4% in the prior-year quarter. Workforce Solutions’ adjusted EBITDA margin was 47% compared with 48.7% a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA margin for Global Consumer Solutions was 26.9% compared with 21.1% in the year-ago quarter.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Equifax exited fourth-quarter 2019 with cash and cash equivalents of $401.3 million compared with $167.5 million at the end of the prior quarter. Long-term debt was $3.38 billion compared with $2.83 billion at the end of the prior quarter.
The company used $230.7 million of cash in operating activities and capex was $93.9 million. Also, Equifax paid out dividend of $47.3 million to shareholders in the reported quarter.
For the first quarter of 2020, Equifax expects revenues in the range of $915-$930 million, indicating year-over-year local currency growth of 9-11%. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $901.05 million lies below the guided range.
Adjusted EPS is anticipated between $1.29 and $1.34 (including a negative foreign exchange impact of less than a penny). The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.28 lies below the guided range.
Equifax unveiled its full-year 2020 guidance for revenues and earnings.
For 2020, revenues are expected between $3.65 billion and $3.75 billion. The current guidance indicates year-over-year local currency growth of 4-7% and 1% negative impact from foreign exchange movement. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.71 billion lies within the guided range.
Adjusted EPS is now anticipated between $5.60 and $5.80 (including a negative foreign exchange impact of 3 cents). The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.76 lies within the guided range.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Currently, Equifax carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Investors interested in the broader Zacks Business Services sector are awaiting fourth-quarter 2019 earnings of key players like Verisk (VRSK - Free Report) , TransUnion (TRU - Free Report) and Green Dot (GDOT - Free Report) . While Verisk and TransUnion are slated to release their results on Feb 18, Green Dot is scheduled to release on Feb 19.
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