Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest in the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,580,000 shares, a decrease of 24.8% from the March 31st total of 2,100,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 779,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.0 days. Approximately 0.9% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Several analysts have issued reports on the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their target price on Moody’s from $315.00 to $325.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 29th. Raymond James upgraded Moody’s from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $337.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 1st. Oppenheimer lifted their price target on Moody’s from $337.00 to $357.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 29th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on Moody’s from $296.00 to $322.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 9th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on Moody’s from $312.00 to $348.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 20th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $328.82.

Moody’s stock traded up $0.89 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $330.21. 874,264 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 809,663. Moody’s has a 52-week low of $240.29 and a 52-week high of $340.16. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $311.08 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $286.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.77, a quick ratio of 2.49 and a current ratio of 2.49. The company has a market cap of $61.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.36, a PEG ratio of 2.67 and a beta of 1.18.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 28th. The business services provider reported $4.06 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.80 by $1.26. Moody’s had a return on equity of 170.55% and a net margin of 34.31%. The business had revenue of $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.39 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.73 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 24.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Moody’s will post 10.17 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 20th will be issued a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 19th. Moody’s’s payout ratio is currently 29.92%.

In other Moody’s news, EVP John J. Goggins sold 11,527 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $293.81, for a total value of $3,386,747.87. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 19,473 shares in the company, valued at $5,721,362.13. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Stephen T. Tulenko sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $317.50, for a total value of $476,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 5,582 shares in the company, valued at $1,772,285. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 16,118 shares of company stock valued at $4,771,584 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. American National Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 19.4% in the 1st quarter. American National Bank now owns 197 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $59,000 after purchasing an additional 32 shares in the last quarter. Federated Hermes Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 2.7% in the 4th quarter. Federated Hermes Inc. now owns 1,459 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $423,000 after purchasing an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 2.2% in the 1st quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,865 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $557,000 after purchasing an additional 41 shares in the last quarter. Private Trust Co. NA boosted its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 3.8% in the 4th quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 1,151 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $334,000 after purchasing an additional 42 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Altium Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. Altium Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,763 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $802,000 after purchasing an additional 46 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.31% of the company’s stock.

About Moody’s

Moody's Corporation operates as an integrated risk assessment firm worldwide. It operates in two segments, Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics. The Moody's Investors Service segment publishes credit ratings and provides assessment services on various debt obligations, programs and facilities, and entities that issue such obligations, such as various corporate, financial institution, and governmental obligations; and structured finance securities.

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