Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) SVP Blair Worrall sold 5,561 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.43, for a total transaction of $819,858.23. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

Moody’s stock opened at $148.19 on Tuesday. Moody’s Co. has a 12-month low of $139.11 and a 12-month high of $187.98. The stock has a market cap of $28.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.41, a PEG ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 1.21. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.40, a quick ratio of 1.38 and a current ratio of 1.38.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 26th. The business services provider reported $1.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.78 by ($0.09). Moody’s had a return on equity of 412.48% and a net margin of 23.85%. The firm had revenue of $1.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.13 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.52 earnings per share. Moody’s’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Moody’s Co. will post 7.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 12th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.44 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 20th. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.19%. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.00%.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Moody’s during the 3rd quarter worth about $129,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Moody’s during the 2nd quarter worth about $140,000. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. acquired a new stake in shares of Moody’s during the 3rd quarter worth about $161,000. Ancora Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Moody’s in the third quarter worth approximately $184,000. Finally, Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management acquired a new stake in shares of Moody’s in the third quarter worth approximately $192,000. 88.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of Moody’s in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $165.00 price objective on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co lowered their price objective on shares of Moody’s from $172.00 to $170.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. Cantor Fitzgerald lowered their price objective on shares of Moody’s to $145.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on shares of Moody’s from $171.00 to $156.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Moody’s from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 5th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $177.33.

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About Moody’s

Moody's Corporation provides credit ratings; and credit, capital markets, and economic related 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 comprising various corporate and governmental obligations, structured finance securities, and commercial paper programs.

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