Waratah Capital Advisors Ltd. Lowers Position in Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP)

Waratah Capital Advisors Ltd. lessened its holdings in shares of Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) by 20.6% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 34,068 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 8,856 shares during the quarter. Waratah Capital Advisors Ltd.’s holdings in Automatic Data Processing were worth $5,499,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of ADP. Greenleaf Trust boosted its stake in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 3.7% in the 2nd quarter. Greenleaf Trust now owns 8,043 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,330,000 after buying an additional 285 shares during the last quarter. Puzo Michael J raised its stake in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 2.7% in the second quarter. Puzo Michael J now owns 63,314 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $10,465,000 after buying an additional 1,642 shares during the period. Elefante Mark B lifted its position in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. Elefante Mark B now owns 5,366 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $886,000 after buying an additional 95 shares in the last quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC lifted its position in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 1,452.2% during the 2nd quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC now owns 1,040 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $172,000 after buying an additional 973 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System grew its stake in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 9.3% during the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 91,391 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $15,110,000 after acquiring an additional 7,742 shares during the period. 80.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In related news, CEO Carlos A. Rodriguez sold 48,571 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $168.51, for a total transaction of $8,184,699.21. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 144,899 shares in the company, valued at approximately $24,416,930.49. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Carlos A. Rodriguez sold 49,392 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.70, for a total transaction of $7,986,686.40. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 132,338 shares in the company, valued at $21,399,054.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.31% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Automatic Data Processing from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 15th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $185.00 price objective on shares of Automatic Data Processing in a research note on Monday, November 4th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Automatic Data Processing from $150.00 to $174.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 15th. Cowen started coverage on shares of Automatic Data Processing in a research note on Wednesday, September 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $195.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Wolfe Research downgraded shares of Automatic Data Processing from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 31st. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $179.56.

Shares of ADP stock traded down $1.89 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $166.70. The company had a trading volume of 967,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,689,492. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $165.64 and its 200-day moving average price is $164.73. Automatic Data Processing has a 52-week low of $121.40 and a 52-week high of $174.50. The company has a market capitalization of $72.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.59, a P/E/G ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.88.

Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The business services provider reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.33 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.52 billion. Automatic Data Processing had a net margin of 16.52% and a return on equity of 46.94%. Automatic Data Processing’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.20 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Automatic Data Processing will post 6.17 earnings per share for the current year.

Automatic Data Processing declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 12th that allows the company to buyback $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the business services provider to reacquire up to 6.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 13th will be paid a $0.91 dividend. This represents a $3.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.18%. This is a positive change from Automatic Data Processing’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.79. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 12th. Automatic Data Processing’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 57.98%.

About Automatic Data Processing

Automatic Data Processing, Inc provides business process outsourcing services worldwide. It operates through two segments, Employer Services and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services. The Employer Services segment offers various human resources (HR) outsourcing and technology-based human capital management solutions.

Further Reading: What is diluted earnings per share (Diluted EPS)?

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP)

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