Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CRA International (NASDAQ:CRAI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday, February 16th. The brokerage currently has $51.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “CRA International reported strong fourth-quarter 2017 results with robust year-over-year increase in revenues and adjusted earnings. Its healthy financial position provides flexibility to pursue new hires and acquisitions that support the core offerings in its portfolio. The company attempts to generate a high level of repeat business from its existing relationships based on its solid reputation and quality of work. Its key areas of focus are – generating balanced and profitable growth across the organization through optimum organic and inorganic means, strengthening client relationships within two lines of business and simplifying internal processes. The company continues to invest in business developments, client-facing activities and recruiting senior-level consultants. However, it has underperformed the industry in the past three months. Cautious spending by clients, stiff competition and currency fluctuations continue to be headwinds.”
Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on CRAI. BidaskClub cut shares of CRA International from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. ValuEngine cut shares of CRA International from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st.
CRA International (NASDAQ:CRAI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 15th. The business services provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.33. CRA International had a net margin of 2.06% and a return on equity of 7.77%. The company had revenue of $97.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $89.60 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.24 EPS. CRA International’s revenue was up 21.9% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that CRA International will post 2.15 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be issued a $0.17 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 26th. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.33%. CRA International’s payout ratio is 78.16%.
CRA International declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 15th that permits the company to repurchase $20.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the business services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in CRA International by 13.0% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 175,918 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $6,392,000 after purchasing an additional 20,293 shares during the last quarter. Ariel Investments LLC boosted its holdings in CRA International by 6.2% in the 4th quarter. Ariel Investments LLC now owns 162,498 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $7,304,000 after purchasing an additional 9,500 shares during the last quarter. Foundry Partners LLC boosted its holdings in CRA International by 8.5% in the 3rd quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 141,085 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $5,792,000 after purchasing an additional 11,070 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management boosted its holdings in CRA International by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 134,300 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $6,036,000 after purchasing an additional 5,300 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in CRA International by 21.9% in the 2nd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 49,213 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,787,000 after purchasing an additional 8,835 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 86.82% of the company’s stock.
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About CRA International
CRA International, Inc is a global consulting firm. The Company provides economic, financial and management consulting services. The Company consulting services in two areas: litigation, regulatory, and financial consulting and management consulting. The Company provides services, such as economic capability, analyses and testimony in areas, such as Antitrust & Competition; Damages & Valuation; Financial Accounting & Valuation; Financial Economics; Forensic & Cyber Investigations; Insurance Economics; Intellectual Property; International Arbitration; Labor & Employment; Mergers & Acquisitions; Regulatory Economics & Compliance; Securities & Financial Markets, and Transfer Pricing.
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