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J.P. Morgan upgrades Verisk Analytics on strong Q4'17 results

J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Andrew Steinerman has upgraded Verisk Analytics Inc. to "overweight" from "neutral," citing the company's strong fourth-quarter 2017 results underlined by organic revenue growth year over year.

The analyst believes that the company is set to sustain "high-single-digit" growth in 2018 thanks to positive momentum in several areas. He said that following an encouraging third quarter of 2017, the company continued on the positive trend in the fourth quarter of the year with improvement in its core insurance vertical.

Steinerman added that the acceleration of the company's Wood Mackenzie unit was an encouraging sign, along with the fact that Argus is set to return to organic constant-currency revenue growth in 2018 and afterward.

The analyst added that the cross-sale of new solutions should drive improvement in insurance during 2018 and beyond. Additionally, the P&C insurance end-market should support the improvement that Verisk's leadership anticipates during 2018, he wrote.

Steinerman raised his price target to $118 from $100. His 2018 and 2019 EPS estimates are $4.05 and $4.59, respectively.