Zacks Investment Research Lowers MSCI (MSCI) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of MSCI (NYSE:MSCI) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “MSCI Inc. is an independent provider of research-driven insights and tools for institutional investors. They have deep expertise in the areas of risk and performance measurement that is based on more than 40 years of academic research, real-world experience and collaboration with their clients. Their broad product line supports clients’ needs across all major asset classes and provides them with a consistent way of looking at risk and performance from front to middle office. They have a highly flexible business model that enables clients to select the individual products and services they need and integrate them into their own investment processes and methodologies. “

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Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of MSCI from $135.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 31st. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a buy rating and set a $142.00 price target on shares of MSCI in a research report on Tuesday, January 30th. Barclays restated a hold rating and set a $150.00 price target on shares of MSCI in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, UBS restated a buy rating and set a $177.00 price target (down previously from $180.00) on shares of MSCI in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $153.33.

MSCI stock opened at $144.05 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.18, a quick ratio of 2.09 and a current ratio of 2.09. MSCI has a 52-week low of $95.01 and a 52-week high of $159.98. The stock has a market cap of $12,956.43, a PE ratio of 36.19, a PEG ratio of 2.67 and a beta of 0.83.

MSCI (NYSE:MSCI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The technology company reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.16. MSCI had a net margin of 23.86% and a return on equity of 108.68%. The business had revenue of $334.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $333.68 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.81 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.3% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that MSCI will post 5.4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, February 16th were given a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 15th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.06%. MSCI’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 38.19%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Guggenheim Capital LLC raised its position in shares of MSCI by 79.8% during the 4th quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 122,126 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $15,455,000 after purchasing an additional 54,200 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its position in shares of MSCI by 27.9% during the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 700,056 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $81,837,000 after purchasing an additional 152,644 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of MSCI by 8.6% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 246,112 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $28,771,000 after purchasing an additional 19,559 shares during the last quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC raised its holdings in MSCI by 237.9% in the 4th quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC now owns 70,676 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $8,943,000 after acquiring an additional 49,757 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in MSCI by 5.4% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,900,049 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,126,212,000 after acquiring an additional 456,004 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.10% of the company’s stock.

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MSCI Company Profile

MSCI Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides investment decision support tools for the clients to manage their investment processes worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Index, Analytics, ESG, and Real Estate. The Index segment primarily provides equity indexes for use in various areas of the investment process, including index-linked product creation and performance benchmarking, as well as portfolio construction and rebalancing, and asset allocation.

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