S&P Global Reports 4th Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Results

S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results. The Company reported fourth quarter 2020 revenue of $1.87 billion, an increase of 8% compared to the same period in 2019 with growth in all four businesses.

Fourth quarter net income decreased 16% to $454 million and diluted earnings per share decreased 15% to $1.88 as the Company took a number of lease impairment and restructuring charges aimed at improving future financial performance. Adjusted net income for the fourth quarter increased 5% to $654 million due to revenue growth, productivity improvements, and a lower effective tax rate partially offset by increased investment spending. Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 7% to $2.71 benefiting from a 2% decrease in the average diluted shares outstanding. Pre-tax adjustments in the fourth quarter of 2020 totaled $247 million primarily due to office lease and equipment impairments, and restructuring charges all intended to improve future financial performance. Additional pre-tax adjustments included IHS Markit merger costs, deal-related amortization, and Kensho retention-related expenses.

For the full year, revenue increased 11% to $7.44 billion. 2020 net income increased 10% to $2.34 billion and diluted earnings per share increased 12% to $9.66. 2020 adjusted net income increased 20% to $2.83 billion and adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 23% to $11.69.

“The markets turned to our essential intelligence more than ever, during a very tumultuous 2020, as we experienced a significant increase in demand for our benchmarks, data, ratings, and research. Our indices helped inform investors as they navigated complex equity markets. Our ratings helped fixed income investors understand rapidly changing credit quality. Platts benchmarks informed commodity markets regarding drastic changes in oil and LNG prices. S&P Global Market Intelligence provided unique data to help customers quickly understand company-specific and market changes,” said Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of S&P Global. He added, “These very strong financial results in 2020 are a testament to the caliber of our employees who persevered throughout the pandemic to meet, and exceed, the demands of our customers. During 2020 we also showcased our technology expertise with innovative new products like Marketplace, Kensho Scribe, Kensho Link, ProSpread™, RiskGauge, Platts high-speed Market-on-Close, and the S&P Kensho Moonshot Index. With a solid base business and the continued launch of new products I am very encouraged about the future of S&P Global, and the pending merger with IHS Markit will create an even better future.”

IHS Markit Merger Update: The Company’s Form S-4 became effective January 22, 2021. Both companies have established a record date of January 19, 2021 for the respective shareholder votes which will take place on March 11, 2021. The Company is also seeking regulatory approval in several countries and that process is underway.

Profit Margin: For the full year, the Company’s operating profit margin improved by 40 basis points to 48.6% as revenue gains and productivity improvements were partially offset by the loss on extinguishment of debt, impairments, and restructurings. The adjusted operating profit margin improved by 310 basis points to 53.3% in 2020.

Return of Capital: The Company returned $1.8 billion to shareholders in 2020 with $1.2 billion in share repurchases and $645 million in dividends. Share repurchases drove a 2% reduction in diluted weighted average shares outstanding during 2020.

Dividend: On January 27, 2021, the Board of Directors of S&P Global approved a 15% increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend on the Company’s common stock. The quarterly dividend will increase from $0.67 to $0.77 per share. The next dividend is payable on March 10, 2021, to shareholders of record on February 24, 2021. The new annualized dividend rate is $3.08 per share and has increased at an average compound annual growth rate of 10.2% since 1974. The Company has paid a dividend each year since 1937 and is one of fewer than 25 companies in the S&P 500 that has increased its dividend annually for at least the last 48 years.
details at: http://investor.spglobal.com/file/Index?KeyFile=406917581

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