Moody’s Corp. (MCO) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday.
According to Zacks, “Moody’s remains a solid franchise in rating debt instruments based on its diversified credit research business model and international growth opportunities. Sustained growth should come from strong potential in the analytics business and diversified client base. Recently, driven by higher issuance activity and its cost containment efforts, Moody's has raised its earnings expectations for the current year whereas revenues are expected to be up in low single digits as projected earlier. Estimates have been going up ahead of the company’s third quarter earnings release. However, regulatory concerns and stiff competition remain headwinds going ahead.”
MCO has been the topic of a number of other reports. Barclays PLC dropped their price objective on shares of Moody’s Corp. from $120.00 to $95.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $105.00 target price on shares of Moody’s Corp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 29th. Argus increased their target price on shares of Moody’s Corp. from $110.00 to $124.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 17th. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research report on Monday, July 11th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $99.00 target price for the company. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $112.00 target price (up previously from $104.00) on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Moody’s Corp. currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $109.29.
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Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) traded down 0.684% on Friday, reaching $108.115. The company had a trading volume of 148,004 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.79 billion, a PE ratio of 24.144 and a beta of 1.35. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $108.02 and its 200-day moving average price is $100.78. Moody’s Corp. has a 12-month low of $77.76 and a 12-month high of $110.83.
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 22nd. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.03. Moody’s Corp. had a net margin of 25.81% and a negative return on equity of 273.01%. The firm had revenue of $928.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $909.08 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.28 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Moody’s Corp. will post $4.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 22nd were paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.36%. Moody’s Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.18%.
In other news, insider Robert Fauber sold 1,970 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.37, for a total transaction of $213,488.90. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 41,074 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,451,189.38. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Linda Huber sold 182,595 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.13, for a total transaction of $20,109,187.35. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 63,637 shares in the company, valued at $7,008,342.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.48% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Pacad Investment Ltd. boosted its position in Moody’s Corp. by 54.3% in the first quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. now owns 5,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $521,000 after buying an additional 1,900 shares during the period. Ngam Advisors L.P. boosted its position in Moody’s Corp. by 1.6% in the first quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 49,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,818,000 after buying an additional 787 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its position in Moody’s Corp. by 2.6% in the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 322,146 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,107,000 after buying an additional 8,201 shares during the period. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its position in Moody’s Corp. by 2.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 1,776,825 shares of the company’s stock worth $171,570,000 after buying an additional 44,210 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in Moody’s Corp. by 2.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,932,414 shares of the company’s stock worth $476,274,000 after buying an additional 112,991 shares during the period. 86.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Moody’s Corp.
Moody’s Corporation (Moody’s) is a provider of credit ratings; credit, capital markets and economic related research, data and analytical tools; software solutions and related risk management services; quantitative credit risk measures, financial services training and certification services, and outsourced research and analytical services to financial institution customers.
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