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S&P Global Stock Rises on Its First-Quarter Earnings Beat, Despite a Guidance Trim

By Eric Volkman – Apr 29, 2020 at 10:21AM

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A dramatic rise in debt issuance helped propel the financial information and analytics company's profits above analysts' estimates.

Shares of S&P Global (SPGI 0.39%) beat the downward trend of the wider market on Wednesday, rising 1.6% in price after the release of its first-quarter 2020 results.

Revenue for the company, an information and analytics specialist targeting the finance industry, rose 14% year over year to just under $1.79 billion. Non-GAAP (adjusted) net income saw a sharper rise of 27%, hitting $665 million, or $2.73 per share.

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According to Zacks, the average analyst estimate for the quarter's adjusted per-share net profit was only $2.36. 

A large share of that revenue growth came from its critical ratings operations. The take for the unit rose by 19% as general debt issuance in the U.S. increased strongly. (Issuers need to have their debt rated in order to attract institutional and other large-scale buyers.) All told, revenue for that business line came in at $825 million in Q1.

Due to the deleterious effects of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, S&P Global has lowered its 2020 guidance. This originally projected diluted earnings per share of $10.40 to $10.60, on revenue increasing in the mid- to high-single-digit percentages.

The company outlined three possible economic scenarios and offered guidance for each of them.

In the first, modeling an economic recovery that starts early in the third quarter, the EPS forecast is dialed down to a range of $10.10 to $10.30, on revenue rising in the low to mid-single digits. The second assumes the bounce back begins late in the third quarter, in which case S&P Global believes it will net $9.95 to $10.15 per share with a low single-digit increase in revenue. Finally, with a recovery kicking off late in the fourth quarter, that bottom-line forecast drops to $9.80 to $10.00 on revenue it anticipates will be flat.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

S&p Global Stock Quote
S&p Global
$351.69 (0.39%) $1.38

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