Morningstar (MORN) Rating Lowered to Buy at BidaskClub

Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) was downgraded by equities researchers at BidaskClub from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

Shares of Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) traded up $0.55 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $97.32. 27,624 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 48,628. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,139.02, a PE ratio of 24.89 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 1.69 and a quick ratio of 1.69. Morningstar has a 1-year low of $68.43 and a 1-year high of $99.11.

Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The business services provider reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter. Morningstar had a net margin of 19.11% and a return on equity of 15.43%.

Morningstar announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Friday, December 8th that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the business services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Jack Noonan sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.46, for a total transaction of $1,709,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 3,344 shares in the company, valued at $285,778.24. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Gail S. Landis sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.00, for a total transaction of $43,500.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 47,921 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,169,127. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 25,500 shares of company stock valued at $2,224,600. 57.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MORN. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC increased its position in Morningstar by 81.8% during the third quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 712,933 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $60,592,000 after purchasing an additional 320,835 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Morningstar by 19.2% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 315,221 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $24,695,000 after acquiring an additional 50,747 shares during the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Morningstar during the third quarter valued at about $3,221,000. First Trust Advisors LP acquired a new stake in shares of Morningstar during the third quarter valued at about $2,975,000. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Morningstar by 30.3% during the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 127,784 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $10,860,000 after acquiring an additional 29,743 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 38.65% of the company’s stock.

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Morningstar Company Profile

Morningstar, Inc is a provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The Company focuses to create products that help investors reach their financial goals. It offers a range of data, software, research, and investment management offerings for financial advisors, asset managers, sponsors, and individual investors.

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