Morningstar (MORN) Lifted to “Strong-Buy” at BidaskClub

BidaskClub upgraded shares of Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report released on Thursday.

Shares of Morningstar stock opened at $94.01 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 1.64, a quick ratio of 1.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22. Morningstar has a 12-month low of $68.43 and a 12-month high of $103.46. The stock has a market cap of $3,995.24, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.94 and a beta of 0.69.

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Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The business services provider reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter. Morningstar had a net margin of 15.02% and a return on equity of 15.64%. The company had revenue of $243.10 million during the quarter.

Morningstar announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Friday, December 8th that authorizes the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the business services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, April 6th will be given a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.06%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 5th. Morningstar’s dividend payout ratio is 31.35%.

In other news, Director Gail S. Landis sold 1,531 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.46, for a total transaction of $146,149.26. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 5,350 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $510,711. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 57.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new position in Morningstar during the fourth quarter worth $126,000. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Morningstar by 57.3% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,449 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $141,000 after purchasing an additional 528 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in Morningstar during the third quarter worth $128,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its holdings in Morningstar by 6.9% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,510 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $118,000 after purchasing an additional 98 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Atria Investments LLC acquired a new position in Morningstar during the fourth quarter worth $203,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 40.72% of the company’s stock.

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About Morningstar

Morningstar, Inc is a provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The Company focuses to create products that help investors reach their financial goals. It offers a range of data, software, research, and investment management offerings for financial advisors, asset managers, sponsors, and individual investors.

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