3. GFI Group (GFIG)
Goldman upgraded GFIG to "buy" from "neutral," arguing it has been one of the cast-aways of a financial subsector it refers to as "the market structure group" for the past three years due to a decline in credit default swap volumes, leading to shrinking margins.However, Goldman's analysts point to GFIG's 5% dividend yield and what they call "two very attractive data assets" in Trayport and Fenics, as well as a net cash level of $62 million. They estimate the core brokerage business is valued at just 4 times earnings. They also believe there is a 10%-20% GFIG becomes "involved in an M&A transaction," as a result of its valuable over-the-counter trading and data platforms. Their 12-month price target of $5 implies 19% upside from Wednesday's closing price of $4.10, though the upgrade appeared to have a big effect as GFIG shares were higher by more than 10% in early trading Thursday.
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