Shares of Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Friday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The company traded as high as $112.75 and last traded at $112.81, with a volume of 1,066,975 shares. The stock had previously closed at $110.22.
The company reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.10. Moody’s Corporation had a negative return on equity of 260.34% and a net margin of 25.88%. The firm earned $942.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $909.31 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.09 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.8% compared to the same quarter last year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 10th. Investors of record on Monday, February 20th will be given a dividend of $0.38 per share. This is an increase from Moody’s Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 15th. Moody’s Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 31.97%.
Several brokerages recently issued reports on MCO. BMO Capital Markets restated a “market perform” rating and set a $108.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, December 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Moody’s Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Barclays PLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corporation in a research report on Monday, January 16th. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $105.00 price objective on Moody’s Corporation and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 21st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group began coverage on Moody’s Corporation in a research report on Sunday, November 20th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $94.00 price objective for the company. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Moody’s Corporation presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $109.86.
In other Moody’s Corporation news, Director Darrell Duffie sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.64, for a total value of $47,320.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 21,171 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,003,623.44. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Lisa Westlake sold 730 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.65, for a total value of $74,204.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 21,710 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,206,821.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 5,275 shares of company stock valued at $536,558 over the last quarter. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Perennial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Moody’s Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $118,000. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. increased its position in shares of Moody’s Corporation by 18.7% in the fourth quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 1,270 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Moody’s Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $123,000. Smithfield Trust Co. increased its position in shares of Moody’s Corporation by 57.3% in the third quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 1,337 shares of the company’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 487 shares during the period. Finally, Salem Investment Counselors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Moody’s Corporation during the third quarter valued at $162,000. Institutional investors own 87.31% of the company’s stock.
The firm has a market capitalization of $21.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.319 and a beta of 1.30. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $102.01 and its 200 day moving average is $103.18.
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About Moody’s Corporation
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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