Covington Capital Management lowered its position in shares of Msci Inc (NYSE:MSCI) by 6.5% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 4,966 shares of the technology company’s stock after selling 344 shares during the quarter. Covington Capital Management’s holdings in Msci were worth $1,282,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MSCI. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Msci by 2.7% in the 4th quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 40,385 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $10,367,000 after purchasing an additional 1,074 shares in the last quarter. Caxton Associates LP increased its holdings in shares of Msci by 110.2% in the 4th quarter. Caxton Associates LP now owns 2,407 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $621,000 after purchasing an additional 1,262 shares in the last quarter. Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC purchased a new position in shares of Msci in the 4th quarter valued at about $30,000. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Msci by 10.0% during the 4th quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 62,888 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $16,140,000 after acquiring an additional 5,733 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Blueshift Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Msci by 6.4% during the 4th quarter. Blueshift Asset Management LLC now owns 8,067 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $2,083,000 after acquiring an additional 483 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 91.15% of the company’s stock.

Msci stock opened at $263.77 on Thursday. Msci Inc has a 12-month low of $191.15 and a 12-month high of $335.43. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 40.03 and a beta of 1.09. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $290.16 and its two-hundred day moving average is $258.96.

Msci (NYSE:MSCI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 30th. The technology company reported $1.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.04. Msci had a net margin of 36.18% and a negative return on equity of 285.06%. The company had revenue of $406.61 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $398.15 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.31 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Msci Inc will post 7.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 6th. Investors of record on Friday, February 21st were given a $0.68 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 20th. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.03%. Msci’s dividend payout ratio is presently 42.24%.

In related news, COO Cd Baer Pettit sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $315.11, for a total value of $787,775.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 291,145 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $91,742,700.95. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 2.94% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

MSCI has been the subject of several recent research reports. William Blair restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Msci in a report on Friday, January 24th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated an “overweight” rating and set a $324.00 target price (up from $262.00) on shares of Msci in a report on Friday, January 31st. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Msci from $255.00 to $274.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, January 31st. Atlantic Securities raised shares of Msci from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $340.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, February 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Msci from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $291.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, January 17th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Msci presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $297.33.

Msci Company Profile

MSCI Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides investment decision support tools for the clients to manage their investment processes worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Index, Analytics, ESG, and Real Estate. The Index segment primarily provides equity indexes for use in various areas of the investment process, including index-linked product creation and performance benchmarking, as well as portfolio construction and rebalancing, and asset allocation.

Further Reading: Sell-Side Analysts

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Msci (NYSE:MSCI)

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