Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” by Brokerages

Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the thirteen analysts that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and seven have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price target among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $299.73.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Atlantic Securities upgraded Moody’s from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, November 26th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft began coverage on Moody’s in a report on Monday, November 30th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $300.00 price objective for the company. Barclays upped their target price on Moody’s from $305.00 to $320.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, December 17th. Raymond James reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Moody’s in a report on Thursday, December 31st. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on Moody’s from $300.00 to $292.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 6th.

Shares of MCO opened at $277.03 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.49, a current ratio of 2.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.77. The firm has a market cap of $52.03 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.83, a PEG ratio of 2.67 and a beta of 1.18. Moody’s has a 52-week low of $164.19 and a 52-week high of $305.95. The business’s 50 day moving average is $274.90 and its two-hundred day moving average is $280.01.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 11th. The business services provider reported $1.91 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.97 by ($0.06). Moody’s had a return on equity of 170.55% and a net margin of 34.31%. The company had revenue of $1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.22 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $2.00 earnings per share. Moody’s’s quarterly revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Moody’s will post 10.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 18th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 25th will be paid a $0.62 dividend. This is an increase from Moody’s’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 24th. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.02%.

In other Moody’s news, CEO Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 42,662 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $279.99, for a total value of $11,944,933.38. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 270,908 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $75,851,530.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP John J. Goggins sold 16,223 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $278.58, for a total value of $4,519,403.34. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,741 shares in the company, valued at $6,613,767.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Freestone Capital Holdings LLC acquired a new position in shares of Moody’s during the 3rd quarter valued at about $32,000. Vantage Consulting Group Inc acquired a new stake in Moody’s in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Magellan Asset Management Ltd acquired a new stake in Moody’s in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $38,000. First Horizon Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Moody’s by 59.8% in the 3rd quarter. First Horizon Advisors Inc. now owns 139 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $40,000 after buying an additional 52 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rockbridge Investment Management LCC acquired a new stake in Moody’s in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $49,000. 89.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Moody’s

Moody's Corporation provides credit ratings and assessment services; 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 and provides assessment services 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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