Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $133.00 price objective on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 13.01% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “ADP is a provider of human capital management solutions and integrated computing solutions to vehicle dealers. We note that the stock has outperformed the industry over the past one year. The company also raised fiscal 2018 guidance for revenues and earnings. We note that ADP holds a dominant position in the payroll processing and human capital management (HCM) market, primarily owing to its robust product portfolio. Moreover, activist investor Bill Ackman recently failed to get a position in the company's board. The overwhelming shareholder support for the existing board reflects strong confidence over management’s strategies, which is expected to drive share price in the near term. Nevertheless, we expect investments in new initiatives will continue to weigh on the company’s bottom-line results. Further, increasing competition is a major headwind.”

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on ADP. Sanford C. Bernstein increased their price target on shares of Automatic Data Processing from $115.00 to $125.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Automatic Data Processing from $105.00 to $115.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. BidaskClub cut shares of Automatic Data Processing from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Automatic Data Processing from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $116.02 to $135.00 in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Finally, Bank of America upgraded shares of Automatic Data Processing from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Automatic Data Processing currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $114.64.

Shares of Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) traded down $0.68 on Friday, reaching $117.69. 551,099 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,737,100. Automatic Data Processing has a fifty-two week low of $94.11 and a fifty-two week high of $121.77. The firm has a market capitalization of $52,190.00, a PE ratio of 29.87, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.90 and a beta of 0.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, a current ratio of 1.10 and a quick ratio of 1.10.

Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The business services provider reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.85 by $0.06. Automatic Data Processing had a net margin of 14.08% and a return on equity of 42.34%. The business had revenue of $3.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.06 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.86 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Automatic Data Processing will post 3.91 EPS for the current year.

In other news, VP Donald Weinstein sold 2,275 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $116.03, for a total value of $263,968.25. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 27,399 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,179,105.97. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Carlos A. Rodriguez sold 95,756 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.09, for a total transaction of $11,307,826.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 124,722 shares in the company, valued at $14,728,420.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 107,619 shares of company stock worth $12,684,290 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Pershing Square Capital Management L.P. increased its position in Automatic Data Processing by 402.5% during the third quarter. Pershing Square Capital Management L.P. now owns 8,798,442 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $961,846,000 after acquiring an additional 7,047,575 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in Automatic Data Processing by 5,962.5% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,013,865 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $411,260,000 after acquiring an additional 3,947,657 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its position in Automatic Data Processing by 42,776.7% during the third quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,376,771 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $150,509,000 after acquiring an additional 1,373,560 shares during the period. Fundsmith LLP increased its position in Automatic Data Processing by 29.0% during the second quarter. Fundsmith LLP now owns 5,176,340 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $530,368,000 after acquiring an additional 1,164,972 shares during the period. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its position in Automatic Data Processing by 671.9% during the second quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 1,245,110 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $127,574,000 after acquiring an additional 1,083,799 shares during the period. 78.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Automatic Data Processing Company Profile

Automatic Data Processing, Inc (ADP) is a provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions to employers, offering solutions to businesses of various sizes. The Company also provides business process outsourcing solutions. Its segments include Employer Services and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services.

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