Analysts Come Out Swinging for the Fences on First Data Ratings

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is now a public company again. It had spent years being private under private equity giant KKR & Co. LP (NYSE: KKR), after being acquired for almost $30 billion before the Great Recession. First Data’s mid-October IPO was a whopping 160 million shares of common stock IPO, and the $16.00 price was under its range of $18.00 to $20.00 per share.

Now many of the analysts at the investment banking firms that were in the underwriting syndicate are out with their initial research calls for First Data’s expectations ahead. Many of these analyst calls were positive, and whether or not this is upside enough is up to investors to decide.

As a reminder, analyst upgrades and initiations on Dow and S&P 500 stocks often come in the 8% to 15% upside range to the expected price targets. That rule is far from universal, and it also may be muted now that the bull market is closer to seven years old than it is to six years old.

24/7 Wall St. has tracked many of the key calls, admitting that other calls may have been made or will soon be made in the coming days. These analyst initiations were listed as follows, with some of the price target data still outstanding:

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Buy and a $20 price objective
  • Barclays: Overweight, $20 price target
  • Citigroup: Buy, $20.50 target
  • Cowen: Outperform, $21 target
  • Deutsche Bank: Buy, $20 target
  • Evercore ISI: Buy, $20 target
  • Goldman Sachs: Buy, $21 target
  • Mizuho Securities: Buy, $20 target
  • Morgan Stanley: Overweight, $22 target
  • SunTrust Robinson Humphrey: Buy, $21 target
  • Wells Fargo: Outperform, with a $19 to $21 valuation range

First Data closed at $17.08 on Friday versus its post-IPO range of $14.99 to $17.30. Shares were last seen down 1.4% at $16.85 Monday morning.

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First Data’s market cap is now $14.9 billion. Its average daily volume was represented as 8.4 million shares, but that was skewed by only several days of trading since the October 14 initial public offering.

The stock has not seen a down day since closing at $15.45 on October 27. If it pulls itself back up on Monday, it would not mark the eighth day of consecutive gains, though, because the stock closed at $16.14 two days in a row last week.