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Why You Must Retain Nasdaq (NDAQ) Stock in Your Portfolio

Nasdaq Inc. NDAQ remains focused on growth through acquisitions as well as organic initiatives. A strong capital positon lends support to pursue such strategic actions. The company’s prospect remains promising, banking on a number of growth drivers.

Positive Growth Projections: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is $4.10 for 2017 on revenues of $2.38 billion. While the top line translates to a year-over-year increase 4.74%, the bottom line reflects an 11.45% improvement. For 2018, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $4.49 per share on $2.50 billion revenues. While earnings represent a 9.47% increase, revenues translate to a 4.69% rise.

Nasdaq has long-term expected earnings per share growth of 8.60%.

Positive Surprise History: Nasdaq has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 2.31%.

Our proven model states that the company is poised to deliver another quarter of positive surprise when it reports its second quarter earnings on Jul 26. This is because of the right combination of a favorable Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and an Earnings ESP of +1.03%.

Growth Drivers in Place: Nasdaq’s strategic initiatives enable entry and cross-selling opportunities into new markets at a low-cost and highly-flexible platform. The company has been leveraging its non-transaction revenue base, which includes market technology, listing and information revenues. Management estimates non-transaction revenue growth in mid-single digit over the next 3–5 years.

The company’s April and May volumes have exhibited a year-over-year improvement.

With respect to its organic endeavors, Nasdaq expects implementation of the International Securities Exchange main market by third-quarter 2017. The securities exchange also remains on track to complete options exchange technology migrations in 2017.

Nasdaq’s strategic buyouts enhanced the company’s capabilities and have already proven to be accretive to its operational results. The company targets $60 million in annualized run-rate cost synergies for the acquisitions in 2016.

Nasdaq effectively deploys its capital. While the company has $273 million remaining under its share repurchase authorization, it has a track of increasing dividend each year since 2014.

Share Performance: Shares of Nasdaq have gained 6.75% year to date compared with the Zacks categorized Securities and Exchanges industry’s increase of 15.04%. Though the shares have underperformed the industry, we believe, the company’s growth drivers should drive its shares higher.

Stocks to Consider    

Some better-ranked stocks from the insurance industry are CBOE Holdings Inc. CBOE, State National Companies, Inc. SNC and Progressive Corp. PGR.

CBOE Holdings is a leading derivative exchange in the U.S., offering trading in stocks or equity options, index options and exchange traded-products (ETP). The company has delivered positive surprises in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 4.96%. The stock flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Progressive provides personal and commercial property-casualty insurance, plus other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services primarily in the United States. The company has delivered positive surprises in two of the last four quarters with an average beat of 4.95%. The stock flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

State National Companies provides property and casualty insurance in the United States. The company has delivered positive surprises in two of the last four quarters with an average beat of 20.54%. The stock flaunts a Zacks Rank #2.

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