Traders bought shares of Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday following insider selling activity. $41.73 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $20.41 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $21.32 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Moody’s Corp. had the 19th highest net in-flow for the day. Moody’s Corp. traded down ($0.61) for the day and closed at $98.68Specifically, insider Robert Fauber sold 625 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.73, for a total transaction of $62,331.25. Following the sale, the insider now owns 41,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,118,450.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Lisa Westlake sold 730 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.50, for a total value of $78,475.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 24,265 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,608,487.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.48% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on MCO. Morgan Stanley set a $112.00 price objective on Moody’s Corp. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 5th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “hold” rating and set a $96.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Argus increased their price objective on Moody’s Corp. from $110.00 to $124.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 17th. Zacks Investment Research cut Moody’s Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 7th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $112.00 price objective (up previously from $104.00) on shares of Moody’s Corp. in a report on Friday, September 30th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $108.77.

The company’s 50-day moving average is $103.76 and its 200 day moving average is $102.06. The stock has a market cap of $19.35 billion, a PE ratio of 21.82 and a beta of 1.36.

Moody’s Corp. (NYSE:MCO) last released its earnings results on Friday, October 21st. The company reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.16. Moody’s Corp. had a net margin of 25.88% and a negative return on equity of 260.34%. The business had revenue of $917.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $894.05 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.11 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Moody’s Corp. will post $4.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 12th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 21st will be paid a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.46%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 17th. Moody’s Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 31.97%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MCO. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Moody’s Corp. by 1.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,683,548 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,375,995,000 after buying an additional 174,769 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in Moody’s Corp. by 3.5% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 4,891,122 shares of the company’s stock worth $529,611,000 after buying an additional 166,705 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its position in 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 worth $430,793,000 after buying an additional 2,785,852 shares during the period. Fiera Capital Corp raised its position in Moody’s Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 4,088,643 shares of the company’s stock worth $383,146,000 after buying an additional 58,405 shares during the period. Finally, Capital International Investors raised its position in Moody’s Corp. by 0.3% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 3,236,691 shares of the company’s stock worth $350,469,000 after buying an additional 8,245 shares during the period. 85.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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