Zacks: Brokerages Expect Moody's Co. (MCO) to Post $1.43 Earnings Per Share

Equities analysts expect Moody's Co. (NYSE:MCO) to announce $1.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Four analysts have provided estimates for Moody's’ earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $1.35 and the highest is $1.60. Moody's posted earnings per share of $1.23 during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 16.3%. The company is scheduled to issue its next earnings results before the market opens on Friday, February 9th.

On average, analysts expect that Moody's will report full-year earnings of $5.99 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.92 to $6.16. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post earnings of $6.81 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.38 to $7.70. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that cover Moody's.

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) last released its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The business services provider reported $1.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $1.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $992.81 million. Moody's had a net margin of 13.73% and a negative return on equity of 187.20%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.34 earnings per share.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on MCO shares. Nomura started coverage on Moody's in a report on Thursday, January 11th. They set a “buy” rating and a $180.00 price objective on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus assumed coverage on Moody's in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $167.00 target price for the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $148.00 target price on shares of Moody's in a research report on Wednesday, November 29th. Barclays upgraded Moody's from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the company from $150.00 to $165.00 in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Argus increased their target price on Moody's to $165.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Moody's has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $155.82.

Shares of Moody's (NYSE MCO) traded down $2.52 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $161.05. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 214,068 shares, compared to its average volume of 664,113. Moody's has a 12 month low of $104.92 and a 12 month high of $167.23. The company has a market capitalization of $30,918.07 and a PE ratio of 57.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -32.57, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.15.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be paid a $0.44 dividend. This is a boost from Moody's’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 16th. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.09%. Moody's’s dividend payout ratio is presently 54.29%.

In other news, Director Darrell Duffie sold 500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $147.93, for a total value of $73,965.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Ewald Kist sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.00, for a total value of $568,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 5,005 shares of company stock valued at $716,738. Insiders own 1.17% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Blue Edge Capital LLC increased its holdings in Moody's by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Blue Edge Capital LLC now owns 9,264 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,127,000 after purchasing an additional 53 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Moody's by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 5,404 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $658,000 after acquiring an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its position in Moody's by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 6,280 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $764,000 after acquiring an additional 190 shares in the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its position in Moody's by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 14,405 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,746,000 after acquiring an additional 249 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Moody's by 10.3% in the 3rd quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,169 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $580,000 after acquiring an additional 390 shares in the last quarter. 87.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Moody's 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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