Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.
According to Zacks, “Moody’s remains a solid franchise in rating debt instruments based on its diversified credit research business model and international growth opportunities. Sustained growth should come from strong potential in the analytics business and diversified client base. Recently, driven by higher issuance activity and its cost containment efforts, Moody's has raised its earnings expectations for the current year whereas revenues are expected to be up in low single digits as projected earlier. Estimates have been going up ahead of the company’s third quarter earnings release. However, regulatory concerns and stiff competition remain headwinds going ahead.”
MCO has been the topic of several other research reports. Barclays PLC lowered their price target on Moody’s Corp. from $120.00 to $95.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $105.00 price target on Moody’s Corp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, September 29th. Argus increased their price target on Moody’s Corp. from $110.00 to $124.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 17th. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on Moody’s Corp. in a report on Monday, July 11th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $99.00 price target on the stock. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $112.00 price target (up previously from $104.00) on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a report on Friday, September 30th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $109.29.
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) traded down 0.77% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $108.02. 146,904 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.12 and a beta of 1.35. Moody’s Corp. has a 52 week low of $77.76 and a 52 week high of $110.83. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $108.02 and its 200 day moving average price is $100.78.
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 22nd. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.03. Moody’s Corp. had a negative return on equity of 273.01% and a net margin of 25.81%. The company had revenue of $928.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $909.08 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.28 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Moody’s Corp. will post $4.63 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 22nd were given a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.36%. Moody’s Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.18%.
In other Moody’s Corp. news, VP Linda Huber sold 182,595 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.13, for a total value of $20,109,187.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 63,637 shares in the company, valued at $7,008,342.81. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Blair Worrall sold 11,054 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.39, for a total value of $1,142,873.06. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 13,062 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,350,480.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.48% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. purchased a new position in Moody’s Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in Moody’s Corp. by 614.2% in the second quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,407 shares of the company’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 1,210 shares in the last quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new position in Moody’s Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $190,000. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC purchased a new position in Moody’s Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $196,000. Finally, Boltwood Capital Management purchased a new position in Moody’s Corp. during the third quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.91% of the company’s stock.
About Moody’s Corp.
Moody’s Corporation (Moody’s) is a provider of credit ratings; credit, capital markets and economic related research, data and analytical tools; software solutions and related risk management services; quantitative credit risk measures, financial services training and certification services, and outsourced research and analytical services to financial institution customers.
For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com
Receive News & Ratings for Moody's Corp. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Moody's Corp. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.