Equifax Inc. (EFX) shares have plummeted more than 30% since Sept. 8, when it disclosed a massive security breach affecting up to 143 million U.S. consumers. In the days following the announcement, the company has faced numerous lawsuits and investigations across many state and federal agencies and consumer groups.
Atlanta-based Equifax said it discovered the hack at the end of July and that it had been occurring since mid-May. The company faces actions including a lawsuit filed by the State of Massachusetts, a probe by the New York Attorney General and congressional hearings.
While many investors have struggled to find the silver lining, Evercore analyst David Togut recommended aggressively buying Equifax stock because there is no material development that would hurt long-term earnings power and the firm is likely to have significant cybersecurity insurance coverage to handle much of the losses. Equifax CEO Richard Smith also reassured customers that the company is taking measures to support consumers and avoid future issues. (See also: Was I Hacked? Find Out If the Equifax Breach Affects You.)
From a technical perspective, the stock moved significantly lower on Wednesday in a bearish engulfing that could signal further downside ahead. The relative strength index (RSI) may point to oversold conditions at 13.96, but the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) continues to look extremely bearish. The positive news for the stock is that selling volume has been declining, which could indicate that some of the capitulation is coming to an end.
Traders should watch for the stock to continue moving lower over the near term given the bearish engulfing, but declining volumes could signal a bottom moving into next week. Traders may want to stay clear of the market – so as not to try to catch a falling knife – but short sellers may want to keep an eye on volume and price action to avoid covering their positions too late. In the meantime, the market will be keeping a close eye on any regulatory actions taken. (For more, see: How to Sue Equifax With a Chatbot – No Lawyer Needed.)
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com. The author holds no position in the stock(s) mentioned except through passively managed index funds.