Moody’s Corp. (MCO) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.
According to Zacks, “Moody’s remains a solid franchise in rating debt instruments based on its diversified credit research business model and international growth opportunities. Sustained growth should come from strong potential in the analytics business and diversified client base. Recently, driven by higher issuance activity and its cost containment efforts, Moody's has raised its earnings expectations for the current year whereas revenues are expected to be up in low single digits as projected earlier. Estimates have been going up ahead of the company’s third quarter earnings release. However, regulatory concerns and stiff competition remain headwinds going ahead.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on MCO. Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on Moody’s Corp. in a report on Monday, July 11th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $99.00 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $114.00 price target on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “hold” rating and set a $96.00 price target on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Finally, Argus raised their price target on Moody’s Corp. from $110.00 to $124.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 17th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $109.29.
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) traded down 0.77% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $108.02. The stock had a trading volume of 146,904 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $20.77 billion, a PE ratio of 24.12 and a beta of 1.35. Moody’s Corp. has a 1-year low of $77.76 and a 1-year high of $110.83. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $108.02 and its 200-day moving average is $100.78.
Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 22nd. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $928.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $909.08 million. Moody’s Corp. had a negative return on equity of 273.01% and a net margin of 25.81%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.28 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Moody’s Corp. will post $4.63 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 22nd were issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.36%. Moody’s Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.18%.
In other Moody’s Corp. news, insider Robert Fauber sold 1,970 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.37, for a total transaction of $213,488.90. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 41,074 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,451,189.38. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Lisa Westlake sold 1,095 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.37, for a total transaction of $118,665.15. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 23,170 shares in the company, valued at $2,510,932.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.48% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc raised its stake in Moody’s Corp. by 0.8% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 3,552 shares of the company’s stock worth $333,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. Nippon Life Insurance Co. raised its stake in Moody’s Corp. by 0.3% in the second quarter. Nippon Life Insurance Co. now owns 17,116 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,604,000 after buying an additional 43 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD raised its stake in Moody’s Corp. by 0.6% in the second quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 13,718 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,285,000 after buying an additional 85 shares during the period. Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its stake in Moody’s Corp. by 0.5% in the second quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 20,036 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,877,000 after buying an additional 96 shares during the period. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Moody’s Corp. by 4.6% in the second quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 2,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $221,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 86.91% of the company’s stock.
About Moody’s Corp.
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 outsourced research and analytical services to financial institution customers.
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