Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) was the target of a large decline in short interest during the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 10,010,780 shares, a decline of 24.3% from the December 15th total of 13,225,105 shares. Currently, 3.1% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,932,474 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.2 days.

In other Paychex news, VP John B. Gibson sold 6,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.70, for a total value of $382,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 21,758 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,385,984.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Michael E. Gioja sold 34,311 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.91, for a total value of $2,364,371.01. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 63,374 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,367,102.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 11.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. increased its holdings in Paychex by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 1,796 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $102,000 after acquiring an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Glenview Trust Co increased its holdings in Paychex by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Glenview Trust Co now owns 10,375 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $591,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Paychex by 3.9% in the 2nd quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 4,588 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $261,000 after acquiring an additional 171 shares in the last quarter. Profund Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Paychex by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 27,001 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,537,000 after acquiring an additional 229 shares in the last quarter. Finally, D.A. Davidson & CO. increased its holdings in Paychex by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 15,463 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $880,000 after acquiring an additional 266 shares in the last quarter. 67.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on PAYX shares. Citigroup reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $53.00 price target on shares of Paychex in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price target on shares of Paychex in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $57.00 price target (up previously from $54.00) on shares of Paychex in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target (up previously from $60.00) on shares of Paychex in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Bank of America upped their price target on shares of Paychex from $64.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and twelve have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. Paychex has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $62.10.

Shares of Paychex (PAYX) opened at $67.66 on Friday. Paychex has a 52-week low of $54.20 and a 52-week high of $70.39. The company has a market cap of $24,290.00, a PE ratio of 29.04, a PEG ratio of 3.71 and a beta of 0.99.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, December 21st. The business services provider reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59. The company had revenue of $826.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $823.48 million. Paychex had a net margin of 26.02% and a return on equity of 42.80%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.56 EPS. analysts predict that Paychex will post 2.38 earnings per share for the current year.

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Paychex Company Profile

Paychex, Inc is a provider of integrated human capital management (HCM) solutions for payroll, human resource (HR), retirement and insurance services for small- to medium-sized businesses in the United States. The Company also has operations in Germany. The Company offers services, including Payroll processing, Human Resource Services, and Accounting and Financial Services.

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