Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $121.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 11.15% from the company’s previous close.
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 equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $114.00 target price on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Barclays PLC lowered their target price on Moody’s Corp. from $120.00 to $95.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $112.00 target price (up from $104.00) on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a report on Friday, September 30th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a report on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Argus lifted their target price on Moody’s Corp. from $110.00 to $124.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 17th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $109.29.
Shares of Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) opened at 108.86 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $20.93 billion, a PE ratio of 24.31 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 stock’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 issued its earnings results on Friday, July 22nd. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.03. The business earned $928.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $909.08 million. Moody’s Corp. had a negative return on equity of 273.01% and a net margin of 25.81%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.28 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Moody’s Corp. will post $4.63 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Investors of record on Monday, August 22nd were given a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.36%. Moody’s Corp.’s payout ratio is 33.18%.
In other Moody’s Corp. news, EVP John J. Goggins sold 24,250 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.53, for a total value of $2,534,852.50. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 75,291 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,870,168.23. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Blair Worrall sold 11,054 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 12th. The stock was 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 directly owns 13,062 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,350,480.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.48% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. acquired a new position in Moody’s Corp. during the first quarter valued at $103,000. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Moody’s Corp. by 614.2% in the second quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,407 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 1,210 shares in the last quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new position in shares of Moody’s Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $190,000. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC purchased a new position in shares of Moody’s Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $196,000. Finally, Boltwood Capital Management purchased a new position in shares of Moody’s Corp. during the third quarter worth approximately $200,000. 86.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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