Moody's Co. (MCO) to Post Q1 2018 Earnings of $1.72 Per Share, William Blair Forecasts

Moody's Co. (NYSE:MCO) – Stock analysts at William Blair lifted their Q1 2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Moody's in a research note issued to investors on Monday. William Blair analyst T. Mchugh now expects that the business services provider will post earnings per share of $1.72 for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $1.44. William Blair also issued estimates for Moody's’ Q2 2018 earnings at $1.87 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $2.01 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $2.10 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $7.70 EPS.

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 9th. The business services provider reported $1.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.06. Moody's had a net margin of 23.80% and a negative return on equity of 319.45%. The company had revenue of $1.17 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.07 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.23 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Argus boosted their price objective on shares of Moody's to $190.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Barclays upped their price target on shares of Moody's from $175.00 to $180.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday. Cantor Fitzgerald upped their price target on shares of Moody's from $148.00 to $155.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $187.00 price target (up previously from $161.00) on shares of Moody's in a research report on Monday. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $160.00 price target on shares of Moody's and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Moody's currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $163.50.

Shares of Moody's (NYSE:MCO) opened at $163.55 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -48.22. Moody's has a one year low of $109.00 and a one year high of $167.23. The firm has a market cap of $30,865.60, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.76, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 1.36.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be given a dividend of $0.44 per share. This is an increase from Moody's’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.08%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 16th. Moody's’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.51%.

In related news, Director Darrell Duffie sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.93, for a total value of $73,965.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 21,336 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,156,234.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders have sold a total of 1,005 shares of company stock valued at $148,738 over the last three months. Insiders own 1.17% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Moody's by 2,358.6% in the 4th quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 713 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $105,000 after purchasing an additional 684 shares during the period. Truewealth LLC bought a new position in Moody's in the 4th quarter valued at $105,000. Delpha Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Moody's in the 4th quarter valued at $117,000. Grove Bank & Trust boosted its holdings in Moody's by 156.7% in the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 901 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after purchasing an additional 550 shares during the period. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new position in Moody's in the 4th quarter valued at $192,000. 87.31% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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