Essex Investment Management Co. LLC trimmed its holdings in Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) by 6.3% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 65,512 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 4,375 shares during the period. Essex Investment Management Co. LLC’s holdings in Paychex were worth $4,460,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Field & Main Bank acquired a new position in shares of Paychex in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $101,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Paychex during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $109,000. Calton & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Paychex during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $151,000. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Paychex during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $188,000. Finally, Cpwm LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Paychex during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $205,000. 67.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In other Paychex news, VP Jennifer R. Vossler sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.29, for a total value of $682,900.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 31,578 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,156,461.62. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Michael E. Gioja sold 34,311 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.91, for a total value of $2,364,371.01. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 63,374 shares in the company, valued at $4,367,102.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 11.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) opened at $64.52 on Tuesday. Paychex, Inc. has a 52-week low of $54.20 and a 52-week high of $73.10. The firm has a market capitalization of $23,921.75, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.58 and a beta of 0.94.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, December 21st. The business services provider reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59. Paychex had a return on equity of 42.80% and a net margin of 26.02%. The firm had revenue of $826.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $823.48 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.56 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Paychex, Inc. will post 2.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 1st will be given a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 31st. Paychex’s dividend payout ratio is presently 85.84%.

PAYX has been the topic of several research reports. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sell” rating and set a $57.00 price target on shares of Paychex in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Bank of America upped their price target on Paychex from $68.00 to $73.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. BidaskClub raised Paychex from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Citigroup raised Paychex from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $67.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of Paychex in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and twelve have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.77.

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About Paychex

Paychex, Inc is a provider of integrated human capital management (HCM) solutions for payroll, human resource (HR), retirement and insurance services for small- to medium-sized businesses in the United States. The Company also has operations in Germany. The Company offers services, including Payroll processing, Human Resource Services, and Accounting and Financial Services.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX)

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