Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) shares gapped up prior to trading on Thursday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The stock had previously closed at $94.16, but opened at $94.58. Northern Trust Corporation shares last traded at $94.91, with a volume of 955,651 shares.

The asset manager reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $1.36 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.35 billion. Northern Trust Corporation had a return on equity of 12.08% and a net margin of 20.21%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 11.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.11 EPS.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.42 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.78%. Northern Trust Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.18%.

Northern Trust Corporation declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $750.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the asset manager to buy up to 3.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

NTRS has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Company initiated coverage on Northern Trust Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $90.00 price target for the company. BidaskClub downgraded Northern Trust Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Northern Trust Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Buckingham Research reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $103.00 price target (up previously from $93.00) on shares of Northern Trust Corporation in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $97.00 price target on shares of Northern Trust Corporation in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Northern Trust Corporation presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $95.93.

In other Northern Trust Corporation news, EVP Aileen B. Blake sold 1,000 shares of Northern Trust Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.00, for a total transaction of $94,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Teresa Parker sold 11,399 shares of Northern Trust Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.65, for a total transaction of $999,122.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 166,094 shares of company stock worth $15,115,309. Insiders own 1.27% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Northern Trust Corporation by 8.3% during the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 1,083 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. Huntington National Bank raised its holdings in shares of Northern Trust Corporation by 54.0% in the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,089 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $106,000 after purchasing an additional 382 shares during the period. Dupont Capital Management Corp bought a new stake in shares of Northern Trust Corporation in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $107,000. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Northern Trust Corporation by 16.9% in the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,461 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $143,000 after purchasing an additional 211 shares during the period. Finally, MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Northern Trust Corporation in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $134,000. 81.89% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The company has a 50 day moving average price of $90.52 and a 200-day moving average price of $90.38. The company has a market cap of $21.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.56 and a beta of 0.93.

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About Northern Trust Corporation

Northern Trust Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company provides asset servicing, fund administration, asset management, fiduciary and banking solutions for corporations, institutions, families and individuals across the world. Its segments include Corporate & Institutional Services (C&IS), Wealth Management, and Treasury and Other.

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