Investment analysts at Stifel Nicolaus assumed coverage on shares of Moody's (NYSE:MCO) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The brokerage set a “hold” rating and a $167.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock. Stifel Nicolaus’ target price would indicate a potential upside of 12.48% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on MCO. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $149.00 price objective (up previously from $140.00) on shares of Moody's in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Argus lifted their price objective on shares of Moody's to $165.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $148.00 price objective on shares of Moody's in a research note on Monday, November 6th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Moody's from $143.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on shares of Moody's from $137.00 to $161.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $153.40.

Shares of Moody's (NYSE:MCO) opened at $148.47 on Tuesday. Moody's has a 52-week low of $93.51 and a 52-week high of $153.86. The company has a market cap of $28,693.66, a PE ratio of 26.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.65 and a beta of 1.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -32.57, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.15.

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The business services provider reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.37 by $0.15. Moody's had a net margin of 13.73% and a negative return on equity of 187.20%. The company had revenue of $1.06 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $992.81 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.34 EPS. Moody's’s revenue was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Moody's will post 5.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Ewald Kist sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.00, for a total transaction of $568,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Darrell Duffie sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $138.41, for a total transaction of $69,205.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 21,804 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,017,891.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.17% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MCO. Grove Bank & Trust boosted its holdings in shares of Moody's by 156.7% during the third quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 901 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 550 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Moody's by 78.1% during the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,145 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $139,000 after purchasing an additional 502 shares during the period. Sun Life Financial INC boosted its holdings in shares of Moody's by 12,200.0% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,230 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $150,000 after purchasing an additional 1,220 shares during the period. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Moody's by 0.6% during the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 1,346 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $164,000 after purchasing an additional 8 shares during the period. Finally, Invictus RG acquired a new stake in shares of Moody's during the third quarter worth approximately $199,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.18% of the company’s stock.

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About Moody's

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 research and analytical services to financial institution customers.

Analyst Recommendations for Moody's (NYSE:MCO)

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