Stanley Laman Group Ltd. grew its position in Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) by 9.3% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 22,096 shares of the business services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,887 shares during the period. Moody’s makes up approximately 1.1% of Stanley Laman Group Ltd.’s portfolio, making the stock its 26th largest position. Stanley Laman Group Ltd.’s holdings in Moody’s were worth $6,413,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. CI Investments Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 13.7% in the fourth quarter. CI Investments Inc. now owns 1,737 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $504,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares during the period. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Moody’s by 6.6% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 44,857 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $13,019,000 after buying an additional 2,789 shares during the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Moody’s by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 30,130 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $8,745,000 after buying an additional 2,117 shares during the last quarter. Fortis Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Moody’s in the fourth quarter worth about $2,032,000. Finally, CIBC World Markets Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Moody’s by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 24,068 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $6,985,000 after buying an additional 679 shares during the last quarter. 89.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, CEO Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 42,662 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $279.99, for a total value of $11,944,933.38. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 270,908 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $75,851,530.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP John J. Goggins sold 16,223 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $278.58, for a total value of $4,519,403.34. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,741 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,613,767.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.79% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 11th. The business services provider reported $1.91 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.97 by ($0.06). Moody’s had a net margin of 34.31% and a return on equity of 170.55%. The firm had revenue of $1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.22 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.00 EPS. Moody’s’s revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Moody’s Co. will post 10.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 18th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 24th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.90%. This is a boost from Moody’s’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.02%.
A number of brokerages have recently commented on MCO. Raymond James restated a “hold” rating on shares of Moody’s in a research note on Thursday, December 31st. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Moody’s from $300.00 to $292.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, January 6th. Barclays increased their price target on Moody’s from $305.00 to $320.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 17th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft started coverage on Moody’s in a research report on Monday, November 30th. They set a “hold” rating and a $300.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Atlantic Securities upgraded Moody’s from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 26th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Moody’s currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $299.73.
Moody's Corporation provides credit ratings and assessment services; 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 and provides assessment services 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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