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Before Equifax Plunged, and After, No Analysts Dared to Say Sell

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If you waited for a Wall Street analyst to tell you what to do with your shares of Equifax Inc. — sorry.

All 16 analysts tracked by Bloomberg have reiterated or at least not altered their advice that clients should hold or buy the credit-reporting company’s stock since it announced Sept. 7 that hackers accessed sensitive data on 143 million Americans. None recommend selling. Evercore ISI analyst David Togut, for example, told clients to snap up shares “aggressively” because the incident won’t likely hurt long-term profits and insurance will cover some costs.

While time will tell, investors aren’t yet embracing that optimism. The stock dropped an additional 12% as of 3 p.m. in New York on Wednesday, bringing the total plunge to 29 percent since the debacle became public. That’s the worst performance in the S&P 500 Index. Twelve analysts now recommend buying the stock and four say hold.

Equifax has faced withering public criticism, with U.S. lawmakers demanding more information on how the breach happened and faulting the company’s efforts to alert victims and help them safeguard their finances.