Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) has received a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the twelve research firms that are covering the firm. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The average 12 month target price among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $108.23.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on MCO shares. Argus raised their target price on shares of Moody’s Corp. from $110.00 to $124.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 17th. Morgan Stanley set a $112.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corp. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Moody’s Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $121.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 5th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $96.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $112.00 price objective (up previously from $104.00) on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a research report on Friday, September 30th.

Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) traded up 1.16% during trading on Monday, reaching $109.52. The company had a trading volume of 241,120 shares. Moody’s Corp. has a 52-week low of $77.76 and a 52-week high of $110.83. The company has a 50-day moving average of $108.13 and a 200-day moving average of $100.86. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.46 and a beta of 1.35.

Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 22nd. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.27 by $0.03. The business earned $928.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $909.08 million. Moody’s Corp. had a net margin of 25.81% and a negative return on equity of 273.01%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.28 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Moody’s Corp. will post $4.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 22nd were paid a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.37%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 18th. Moody’s Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.18%.

In other Moody’s Corp. news, SVP Lisa Westlake sold 730 shares of Moody’s Corp. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.50, for a total value of $78,475.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 24,265 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,608,487.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP John J. Goggins sold 24,250 shares of Moody’s Corp. stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.53, for a total transaction of $2,534,852.50. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 75,291 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,870,168.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MCO. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Moody’s Corp. by 1.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,683,548 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,375,995,000 after buying an additional 174,769 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in shares of Moody’s Corp. by 2.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,932,414 shares of the company’s stock valued at $476,274,000 after buying an additional 112,991 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Moody’s Corp. by 11.6% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 4,724,417 shares of the company’s stock valued at $442,724,000 after buying an additional 491,476 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in shares of Moody’s Corp. by 153.8% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 4,597,087 shares of the company’s stock valued at $430,793,000 after buying an additional 2,785,852 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fiera Capital Corp boosted its position in shares of Moody’s Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 4,088,643 shares of the company’s stock valued at $383,146,000 after buying an additional 58,405 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.91% of the company’s stock.

Moody’s Corp. 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 outsourced research and analytical services to financial institution customers.

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