Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Moody’s have significantly outperformed the Zacks categorized Miscellaneous Financial Services industry, in the last six months. We are optimistic about the company’s prospects given its diverse operations and dominant position in the credit rating industry. Notably for 2017, the company projects adjusted earnings to be near the upper end of the range of $5.15 to $5.30. Also, given its strong balance sheet position, the company is well poised to grow through strategic acquisitions. However, a stricter regulatory landscape and litigations issues remain major near-term concerns. Also, stiff competition across the credit rating industry makes us apprehensive.”

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Moody’s Corporation from $118.00 to $121.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 8th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “hold” rating and set a $116.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corporation in a research report on Monday, May 8th. Barclays PLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $118.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corporation in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $124.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $117.57.

Analyst Recommendations for Moody`s Corporation (NYSE:MCO)

Moody’s Corporation (MCO) traded down 0.20% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $122.00. 600,324 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 55.51 and a beta of 1.25. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $117.25 and its 200-day moving average price is $109.04. Moody’s Corporation has a 12 month low of $87.30 and a 12 month high of $122.99.

Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, May 5th. The business services provider reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.23. Moody’s Corporation had a net margin of 11.37% and a negative return on equity of 167.79%. The company had revenue of $975.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $914.27 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.93 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Moody’s Corporation will post $5.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 12th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 22nd were issued a $0.38 dividend. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 18th. Moody’s Corporation’s payout ratio is 70.05%.

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In other Moody’s Corporation news, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 61,667 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.35, for a total value of $6,989,954.45. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 308,761 shares in the company, valued at $34,998,059.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Robert Fauber sold 1,340 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.16, for a total transaction of $148,954.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 44,550 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,952,178. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 138,089 shares of company stock valued at $15,921,748. Corporate insiders own 1.17% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MCO. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Moody’s Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $101,000. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Moody’s Corporation by 89.6% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 965 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 456 shares during the last quarter. American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Moody’s Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $108,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of Moody’s Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $113,000. Finally, Advisory Services Network LLC purchased a new position in shares of Moody’s Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $137,000. Institutional investors own 89.60% of the company’s stock.

Moody’s Corporation Company Profile

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 research and analytical services to financial institution customers.

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