Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. They currently have $152.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock.
ADS has been the subject of a number of other research reports. SunTrust Banks lowered their price objective on Alliance Data Systems to $160.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 20th. William Blair restated a buy rating on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a report on Monday, July 15th. Buckingham Research reiterated a neutral rating and set a $169.00 price target on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a report on Monday, July 22nd. UBS Group raised Alliance Data Systems from a neutral rating to a buy rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $160.00 to $155.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank raised Alliance Data Systems from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 16th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Alliance Data Systems currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $188.50.
Shares of Alliance Data Systems stock traded down $0.68 on Wednesday, reaching $134.69. 625,100 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 817,785. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $140.98 and its 200-day moving average price is $152.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.16, a current ratio of 2.67 and a quick ratio of 2.64. The company has a market cap of $6.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.47 and a beta of 1.70. Alliance Data Systems has a 1-year low of $118.40 and a 1-year high of $250.27.
Alliance Data Systems announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, July 9th that allows the company to buyback $1.10 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the business services provider to reacquire up to 14.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 26th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 4th will be given a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 3rd. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.87%. Alliance Data Systems’s payout ratio is currently 11.69%.
In other Alliance Data Systems news, CFO Timothy P. King sold 2,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.30, for a total transaction of $406,380.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ADS. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Alliance Data Systems during the 2nd quarter worth $28,000. Johnson Financial Group Inc. lifted its stake in Alliance Data Systems by 940.9% in the second quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 229 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $32,000 after buying an additional 207 shares during the last quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. raised its stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 92.1% during the second quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 436 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $61,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 36.4% during the first quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 690 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $121,000 after purchasing an additional 184 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. purchased a new position in Alliance Data Systems in the second quarter worth $121,000. 89.65% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Alliance Data Systems
Alliance Data Systems Corporation provides data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions worldwide. It operates through three segments: LoyaltyOne, Epsilon, and Card Services. The company offers a portfolio of integrated outsourced marketing solutions, including customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, end-to-end marketing services, analytics and creative services, direct marketing services, and private label and co-brand retail credit card programs.
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