Moody’s (MCO) Sets New 12-Month High After Analyst Upgrade

Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Friday after Piper Jaffray Companies raised their price target on the stock from $178.00 to $205.00. Piper Jaffray Companies currently has a neutral rating on the stock. Moody’s traded as high as $188.51 and last traded at $186.88, with a volume of 277318 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $186.83.

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Moody’s from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. Barclays reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 target price on shares of Moody’s in a research note on Sunday, December 9th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $145.00 price target on shares of Moody’s in a report on Friday, February 15th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on shares of Moody’s to $182.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. Finally, UBS Group decreased their price objective on shares of Moody’s from $156.00 to $154.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Moody’s has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $171.27.

In other Moody’s news, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 44,146 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $183.95, for a total value of $8,120,656.70. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 229,749 shares in the company, valued at $42,262,328.55. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,423,853 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $238,071,000 after acquiring an additional 9,246 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in Moody’s by 11.9% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 452,328 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $75,651,000 after purchasing an additional 47,962 shares during the last quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc increased its stake in shares of Moody’s by 10.2% in the third quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 55,922 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $9,350,000 after purchasing an additional 5,176 shares during the period. Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Moody’s by 101.8% in the third quarter. Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. now owns 9,566 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,600,000 after purchasing an additional 4,825 shares during the period. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 61.3% during the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,710 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $454,000 after buying an additional 1,030 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.70% of the company’s stock.

The company has a quick ratio of 1.61, a current ratio of 1.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.96. The stock has a market capitalization of $35.28 billion, a PE ratio of 25.34, a P/E/G ratio of 2.26 and a beta of 1.29.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last posted its earnings results on Friday, February 15th. The business services provider reported $1.63 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.71 by ($0.08). The business had revenue of $1.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.14 billion. Moody’s had a net margin of 29.48% and a return on equity of 268.11%. The firm’s revenue was down 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.51 earnings per share. Research analysts expect that Moody’s Co. will post 7.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 18th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 25th were issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.07%. This is a positive change from Moody’s’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.44. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 22nd. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.06%.

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Moody’s Company Profile (NYSE:MCO)

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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