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Wells Fargo Says NASDAQ's Cash Flow, Strategic Shift Could Be Attractive to PE Firms

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Wells Fargo's Christopher Harris responded to reports of private-equity chatter on NASDAQ (NASDAQ: NDAQ) in a research note from Monday afternoon.

NASDAQ Shares are currently up nearly 4 percent following reports from Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino suggesting Carlyle previously held talks with the company about going private. Gasparino iterated Carlyle and NASDAQ are not currently in talks.

Wells Fargo's Harris said in his note private equity could like be "very interested" in NASDAQ amid the company's level of cash flow and given the fact that NASDAQ is moving away from trading. Although Harris warned of NASDAQ's elevated level of leverage compared to peers, the analyst feels NASDAQ could support much higher leverage in a private-equity deal.

Wells Fargo maintains a Market Perform rating on shares of NASDAQ.

Latest Ratings for NDAQ

DateFirmActionFromTo
Apr 2015PortalesDowngradesOutperformSector Perform
Apr 2015BarclaysMaintainsOverweight
Mar 2015Keefe Bruyette & WoodsMaintainsOutperform

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