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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for S&P Global (SPGI). Shares have added about 0.2% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is S&P Global due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.
S&P Global Surpasses Q3 Earnings & Revenue Estimates
S&P Global reported better-than-expected third-quarter 2021 results.
Adjusted earnings per share of $3.54 beat the consensus mark by 11.3% and improved 24.2% year over year on the back of solid revenue growth. Revenues of $2.09 billion beat the consensus estimate by 4.5% and improved 13% year over year, backed by strength across every segment.
Let’s check out the numbers in detail.
Ratings revenues increased 14% year over year to $1.02 billion. Transaction revenues grew 13% to $551 million, backed by gains in bank loan rating activity and structured finance, which offset declines in corporate bond issuance. Non-transaction revenues grew 15% to $466 million, owing to fees associated with surveillance, new-entity ratings, and Rating Evaluation Service activity.
Market Intelligence revenues were up 7% year over year to $570 million, primarily driven by growth in Data Management Solutions, Credit Risk Solutions and Desktop.
Platts revenues rose 8% year over year to $239 million, backed by growth in core subscription business.
S&P Dow Jones Indices revenues grew 28% to $298 million, backed by strength across asset-linked fees and exchange-traded derivative activity.
Adjusted operating profit margin grew 8% year over year to $1.23 billion. Adjusted operating profit margin increased 250 basis points (bps) to 55.4%, owing to higher incremental profits on additional revenue.
Segment wise, Ratings’ adjusted operating profit improved 17% to $645 million while adjusted operating profit margin increased 160 bps to 63.4%.
Market Intelligence’s adjusted operating profit increased 13% to $203 million and adjusted operating profit margin improved 190 bps to 35.7%.
Platts’ adjusted operating profit increased 5% to $130 million and adjusted operating profit margin decreased 110 bps to 54.6%.
S&P Dow Jones’ adjusted operating profit increased 40% to $214 million. Adjusted operating profit margin increased 660 bps to 71.8%.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
S&P Global exited third-quarter 2021 with cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash of $5.91 billion compared with $5.22 billion at the end of the prior quarter. Long-term debt was $4.11 billion, flat sequentially.
The company generated $967 million of cash from operating activities in the reported quarter. Capital expenditures were $8 million. Free cash flow was $906 million.
During the reported quarter, S&P Global returned $186 million to shareholders in the form of dividend payment. However, it did not repurchase any share during the quarter due to the pending merger with IHS Markit.
S&P Global raised its full-year 2021 guidance. The company now expects adjusted EPS in the range of $13.5-$13.65 compared with the prior guidance of $12.95-$13.15.
Free cash flow is anticipated between $3.6 billion and $3.7 billion compared with the prior guidance of $3.5-$3.6 billion. Revenues are anticipated to increase low double-digits.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month.
Currently, S&P Global has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a C. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, S&P Global has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.
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