Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest in the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 2,113,200 shares, a drop of 25.5% from the May 30th total of 2,836,300 shares. Currently, 1.1% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 911,900 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.3 days.

In related news, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 55,422 shares of Moody’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $182.23, for a total value of $10,099,551.06. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 275,716 shares in the company, valued at approximately $50,243,726.68. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Richard Cantor sold 3,959 shares of Moody’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $184.04, for a total transaction of $728,614.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 47,406 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,724,600.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 147,854 shares of company stock worth $27,854,940 in the last quarter. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Moody’s by 15.7% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,583,309 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $829,991,000 after acquiring an additional 620,741 shares in the last quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY boosted its position in Moody’s by 1.1% in the first quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY now owns 59,608 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $10,794,000 after buying an additional 661 shares in the last quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC acquired a new position in Moody’s in the first quarter valued at about $106,236,000. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Moody’s by 5.0% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 8,229 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,490,000 after buying an additional 392 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tesco Pension Investment Ltd boosted its position in Moody’s by 21.3% in the first quarter. Tesco Pension Investment Ltd now owns 236,679 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $42,860,000 after buying an additional 41,526 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.80% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently commented on MCO shares. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of California Water Service Group to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Williams-Sonoma from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Gold Fields from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a GBX 3,200 ($41.81) price target on shares of Diageo and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $16.00 price target on shares of WPX Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Moody’s has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $189.18.

NYSE MCO traded up $3.65 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $205.31. The company had a trading volume of 564,530 shares, compared to its average volume of 968,765. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 17.70, a quick ratio of 1.45 and a current ratio of 1.45. The firm has a market cap of $38.93 billion, a PE ratio of 27.78, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.25. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $192.86. Moody’s has a fifty-two week low of $129.26 and a fifty-two week high of $205.34.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The business services provider reported $2.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.88 by $0.19. Moody’s had a net margin of 29.38% and a return on equity of 281.55%. The business had revenue of $1.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.13 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.02 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Moody’s will post 7.94 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 10th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 20th will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 19th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.97%. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 27.06%.

About Moody’s

Moody's Corporation provides credit ratings; 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 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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