Morgan Stanley Raises Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) Price Target to $150.00

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Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) had its target price increased by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley from $145.00 to $150.00 in a research note issued on Tuesday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm presently has an “underweight” rating on the business services provider’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target suggests a potential downside of 21.39% from the company’s current price.

A number of other analysts also recently commented on MCO. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on Moody’s to $172.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $168.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. ValuEngine upgraded Moody’s from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies increased their price objective on Moody’s from $178.00 to $205.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co raised their price target on Moody’s from $170.00 to $195.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $184.50.

Shares of MCO opened at $190.82 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $36.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.56, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 17.70, a quick ratio of 1.45 and a current ratio of 1.45. Moody’s has a 12-month low of $129.26 and a 12-month high of $197.73.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The business services provider reported $2.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.88 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $1.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.13 billion. Moody’s had a return on equity of 281.55% and a net margin of 29.38%. Moody’s’s quarterly revenue was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.02 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Moody’s will post 7.91 EPS for the current year.

In related news, SVP Melanie Hughes sold 3,039 shares of Moody’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $197.52, for a total transaction of $600,263.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 3,912 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $772,698.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 55,422 shares of Moody’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $182.23, for a total transaction of $10,099,551.06. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 275,716 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $50,243,726.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 184,500 shares of company stock worth $34,487,147 over the last quarter. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY raised its position in Moody’s by 1.1% during the first quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY now owns 59,608 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $10,794,000 after acquiring an additional 661 shares in the last quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Moody’s in the first quarter worth about $106,236,000. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Moody’s by 5.0% during the 1st quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 8,229 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,490,000 after purchasing an additional 392 shares during the last quarter. Tesco Pension Investment Ltd raised its holdings in Moody’s by 21.3% during the 1st quarter. Tesco Pension Investment Ltd now owns 236,679 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $42,860,000 after purchasing an additional 41,526 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Moody’s by 29.0% during the 4th quarter. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,841 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $258,000 after buying an additional 414 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 92.81% of the company’s stock.

About Moody’s

Moody's Corporation provides credit ratings; and credit, capital markets, and economic research, data, and analytical tools worldwide. It operates through two segments, Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics. The Moody's Investors Service segment publishes credit ratings on various debt obligations and entities that issue such obligations, such as various corporate and governmental obligations, structured finance securities, and commercial paper programs.

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Analyst Recommendations for Moody`s (NYSE:MCO)

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