Moody’s Corp. (MCO) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $121.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 11.64% from the company’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Moody’s remains a solid franchise in rating debt instruments based on its diversified credit research business model and international growth opportunities. Sustained growth should come from strong potential in the analytics business and diversified client base. Recently, driven by higher issuance activity and its cost containment efforts, Moody's has raised its earnings expectations for the current year whereas revenues are expected to be up in low single digits as projected earlier. Estimates have been going up ahead of the company’s third quarter earnings release. However, regulatory concerns and stiff competition remain headwinds going ahead.”
Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and set a $114.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. Barclays PLC reduced their price objective on Moody’s Corp. from $120.00 to $95.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. BMO Capital Markets restated a “market perform” rating and set a $112.00 price objective (up from $104.00) on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research note on Friday, September 30th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “hold” rating on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Argus raised their price objective on Moody’s Corp. from $110.00 to $124.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 17th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Moody’s Corp. has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $109.29.
Shares of Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) traded up 0.6688% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $109.1049. 233,586 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Moody’s Corp. has a 52 week low of $77.76 and a 52 week high of $110.83. The stock has a market cap of $20.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.3646 and a beta of 1.35. The company has a 50 day moving average of $107.76 and a 200 day moving average of $100.66.
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 22nd. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.03. The company earned $928.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $909.08 million. Moody’s Corp. had a negative return on equity of 273.01% and a net margin of 25.81%. The business’s revenue was up 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.28 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Moody’s Corp. will post $4.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Investors of record on Monday, August 22nd were paid a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.37%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 18th. Moody’s Corp.’s payout ratio is 33.18%.
In related news, VP Linda Huber sold 182,595 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.13, for a total value of $20,109,187.35. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 63,637 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,008,342.81. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP John J. Goggins sold 24,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.53, for a total value of $2,534,852.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 75,291 shares in the company, valued at $7,870,168.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.48% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Moody’s Corp. by 23.4% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 185,803 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,411,000 after buying an additional 35,229 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund bought a new position in shares of Moody’s Corp. during the second quarter worth $640,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new position in shares of Moody’s Corp. during the second quarter worth $1,347,000. Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Moody’s Corp. during the second quarter worth $2,134,000. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased its position in shares of Moody’s Corp. by 2.1% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 245,242 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,983,000 after buying an additional 5,136 shares during the last quarter. 86.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Moody’s Corp. Company Profile
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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