Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) shares gapped up prior to trading on Wednesday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock had previously closed at $61.98, but opened at $61.99. Paychex shares last traded at $62.61, with a volume of 3,108,272 shares traded.

The business services provider reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.60 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $816.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $816.34 million. Paychex had a return on equity of 42.48% and a net margin of 25.93%. The company’s revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.60 earnings per share.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on PAYX shares. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their target price on shares of Paychex from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday. Bank of America Corporation upped their price objective on shares of Paychex from $64.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 target price (up from $60.00) on shares of Paychex in a research note on Wednesday. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their target price on Paychex from $54.00 to $57.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Paychex in a research note on Wednesday. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $59.84.

In related news, insider Michael E. Gioja sold 7,343 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.40, for a total transaction of $421,488.20. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 55,632 shares in the company, valued at $3,193,276.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Joseph M. Tucci sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.82, for a total transaction of $346,920.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 53,621 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,100,366.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 107,497 shares of company stock valued at $6,200,889. 11.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of PAYX. Intl Fcstone Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Paychex in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $1,335,000. Navellier & Associates Inc raised its position in shares of Paychex by 3.1% during the 2nd quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc now owns 24,636 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,403,000 after buying an additional 743 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its position in shares of Paychex by 31.2% during the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 117,056 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $6,664,000 after buying an additional 27,820 shares during the period. Oak Associates Ltd. OH raised its position in shares of Paychex by 15.0% during the 2nd quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH now owns 169,185 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $9,633,000 after buying an additional 22,100 shares during the period. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers purchased a new stake in shares of Paychex during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $872,000. Institutional investors own 67.31% of the company’s stock.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $57.62 and its 200-day moving average is $58.16. The stock has a market cap of $22.50 billion, a PE ratio of 27.83 and a beta of 0.98.

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Paychex Company Profile

Paychex, Inc is a provider of integrated human capital management (HCM) solutions for payroll, human resource (HR), retirement and insurance services for small- to medium-sized businesses in the United States. The Company also has operations in Germany. The Company offers services, including Payroll processing, Human Resource Services, and Accounting and Financial Services.

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