Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $121.00 price objective on the stock.
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.”
A number of other research analysts have also commented on MCO. Barclays PLC reiterated an overweight rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research note on Monday, July 11th. They set a neutral rating and a $99.00 price objective on the stock. Morgan Stanley reiterated an overweight rating and set a $114.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a hold rating and set a $96.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research note on Friday, July 22nd. Finally, Argus raised their price objective on shares of Moody’s Corp. from $110.00 to $124.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 17th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $109.29.
Shares of Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) traded up 0.20% on Wednesday, hitting $108.71. The company had a trading volume of 232,835 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average of $107.88 and a 200-day moving average of $100.72. Moody’s Corp. has a 12-month low of $77.76 and a 12-month high of $110.83. The company has a market cap of $20.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.28 and a beta of 1.35.
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 22nd. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.03. Moody’s Corp. had a net margin of 25.81% and a negative return on equity of 273.01%. The business had revenue of $928.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $909.08 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.28 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Moody’s Corp. will post $4.61 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 22nd were paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 18th. Moody’s Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.18%.
In other Moody’s Corp. news, insider Robert Fauber sold 17,796 shares of Moody’s Corp. stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.78, for a total transaction of $1,864,664.88. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 49,527 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,189,439.06. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Linda Huber sold 44,500 shares of Moody’s Corp. stock in a transaction on Friday, July 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.00, for a total transaction of $4,672,500.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 101,059 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,611,195. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.48% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of MCO. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. bought a new stake in shares of Moody’s Corp. during the first quarter worth about $103,000. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC raised its stake 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 during the last quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC acquired a new stake in Moody’s Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $190,000. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC acquired a new stake in Moody’s Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $196,000. Finally, Boltwood Capital Management acquired a new stake in Moody’s Corp. during the third quarter valued at about $200,000. 86.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Moody’s Corp. Company Profile
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.
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