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Company Highlight: Equifax

November 2021
Headshot of Jensen employee Kurt Havnaer
Kurt M. Havnaer, CFA®
Portfolio Manager

Ticker:
(EFX)

Year Founded:
1899

Headquarters
Atlanta,
Georgia

Equifax

Equifax is a global data, analytics and technology company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The company is one of the leading credit bureaus in the U.S., providing critical services for lenders’ credit decisions and helps lower financing costs for borrowers. Equifax benefits from an advantageous business model in which credit and employment data is provided for free from financial institutions and employers, respectively. Equifax leverages its unique data sets and analytical capabilities to provide value-added products and insights to its customers. 

First Entered
Quality Growth Strategy
Q3 1992

Entered
Quality Value Strategy
Q2 2018

Re-Entered Quality Growth Strategy
Q1 2020

Entered Global Quality Growth Strategy
Q2 2020

Know What You Own

We own Equifax across all three Jensen Quality Strategies due to its attractive long-term growth prospects and sustainable competitive advantages. Growth drivers include new product development, expansion into new markets, and business productivity enhancements. The company’s primary competitive advantage is derived from high entry barriers associated with the ownership of unique data assets at scale. Industry dynamics are favorable, with the credit bureau industry a tri-party oligopoly and Equifax’s Workforce Solutions business bolstered by a vast first-mover advantage in employment records data compilation.
Bar and line chart showing Equifax Revenue and EBIT

Source: Refinitiv Eikon

Pandemic Standout: 15 Years in the Making

Equifax shares posted exceptional performance during the pandemic period, reflecting strong business results. This resiliency  can be traced back to a strategic investment made nearly 15 years ago that transformed EFX into the business it is today. 

In 2007, Equifax expanded beyond its core credit bureau business by acquiring TALX, owner of “The Work Number” (TWN), a proprietary database of current and historic income and employment records. By 2020, EFX had grown the database to include over 460 million employment records that are regularly updated by over one million organizations.  

Equifax’s Workforce Solutions segment was born through this acquisition and has since grown to become EFX’s largest, fastest growing and most profitable segment. EFX uses this vast TWN database to provide clients with income verification services. This business shined during the pandemic, as mortgage and non-mortgage verification services sales grew over +57% Y/Y in 2020. In addition, the company’s unemployment claims processing, a distinctly counter-cyclical business, sales grew +34% Y/Y in 2020. 

Outlook

Today, Equifax stands as the only company that provides a combination of credit, employment, background check, income, and wealth data to its diversified customer base. 

We maintain a positive view of Equifax’s competitive position and long-term growth prospects, driven by its strategy of using unique data sets and analytics to improve customer decisions. A concerted effort to diversify its business mix between more cyclical (e.g., mortgage) and counter-cyclical (e.g., unemployment claims) end markets should allow EFX to grow its business through various market environments.  

Strategy holdings are subject to change and should not be considered recommendations to buy or sell any security. For a listing of each Strategy’s current holdings, please click a link below.

Jensen Quality Growth Strategy

Jensen Quality Value Strategy

Jensen Global Quality Growth Strategy

The discussion of the specific security identified in this article is solely intended to illustrate the application of our investment approach. Our views expressed herein are subject to change and should not be construed as investment advice and are not designed or intended as a basis or determination for making any investment decision for any security. This information is current as of the date of this material and is subject to change at any time, based on the market and other conditions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Jensen Investment Management, Inc. is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registration with the SEC does not imply any level of skill or training.

© 2021 Jensen Investment Management.