Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) Receives Average Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts

Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) has been given an average rating of “Buy” by the fourteen analysts that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and eight have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $290.75.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on shares of Moody’s from $278.00 to $275.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday. Oppenheimer initiated coverage on shares of Moody’s in a report on Monday, May 18th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $290.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Moody’s from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $298.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 7th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price objective on shares of Moody’s from $210.00 to $215.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, May 1st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $330.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s in a research report on Tuesday, July 28th.

Moody’s stock traded down $2.47 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $281.30. 925,639 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 575,974. Moody’s has a 12 month low of $164.19 and a 12 month high of $296.66. The company has a market cap of $52.74 billion, a PE ratio of 34.90, a P/E/G ratio of 3.14 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 9.17, a quick ratio of 1.70 and a current ratio of 2.10. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $281.46 and a two-hundred day moving average of $255.09.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 30th. The business services provider reported $2.81 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.26 by $0.55. Moody’s had a net margin of 33.38% and a return on equity of 204.46%. The business had revenue of $1.44 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.23 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $2.07 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 18.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts expect that Moody’s will post 9.07 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 20th will be given a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.80%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 19th. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.02%.

In other news, EVP John J. Goggins sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $282.20, for a total transaction of $3,386,400.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 30,118 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,499,299.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Stephen T. Tulenko sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $293.01, for a total transaction of $439,515.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 8,044 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,356,972.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 60,727 shares of company stock valued at $16,235,465 over the last three months. 0.79% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Allred Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Moody’s by 42.4% during the 1st quarter. Allred Capital Management LLC now owns 141 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $30,000 after purchasing an additional 42 shares during the period. MAI Capital Management grew its stake in shares of Moody’s by 3.0% during the 1st quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 1,535 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $325,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares during the period. Cypress Capital Group grew its stake in shares of Moody’s by 1.0% during the 1st quarter. Cypress Capital Group now owns 4,977 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,053,000 after purchasing an additional 48 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Moody’s by 6.1% during the 2nd quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 957 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $263,000 after purchasing an additional 55 shares during the period. Finally, Asahi Life Asset Management CO. LTD. grew its stake in shares of Moody’s by 2.9% during the 1st quarter. Asahi Life Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 2,130 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $450,000 after purchasing an additional 60 shares during the period. 90.27% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Moody’s Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Moody`s (NYSE:MCO)

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