Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $86.98 and last traded at $86.63, with a volume of 5096 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $86.16.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Barclays lifted their price objective on Paychex from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on Paychex from $82.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 28th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein cut Paychex from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 30th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $74.14.

The company has a market capitalization of $30.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.36 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 1.11 and a quick ratio of 1.11.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, March 27th. The business services provider reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.89. Paychex had a return on equity of 43.20% and a net margin of 28.19%. The firm had revenue of $1.07 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.07 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.63 EPS. Paychex’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Paychex, Inc. will post 2.85 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, May 30th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.85%. This is a boost from Paychex’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 14th. Paychex’s payout ratio is presently 97.25%.

In other Paychex news, VP Jennifer R. Vossler sold 10,000 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.54, for a total transaction of $805,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 31,701 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,553,198.54. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Stephanie L. Schaeffer sold 14,893 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.76, for a total value of $1,292,116.68. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 63,039 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,469,263.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 135,127 shares of company stock valued at $11,173,791 over the last three months. 11.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Glassman Wealth Services lifted its holdings in Paychex by 125.0% during the 1st quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 306 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $25,000 after buying an additional 170 shares during the last quarter. FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Paychex by 64.9% in the 1st quarter. FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC now owns 310 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $25,000 after purchasing an additional 122 shares during the last quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Paychex by 404.8% in the 1st quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 318 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 255 shares during the last quarter. Ellevest Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Paychex in the 1st quarter valued at about $27,000. Finally, We Are One Seven LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Paychex in the 4th quarter valued at about $25,000. 68.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Paychex Company Profile (NASDAQ:PAYX)

Paychex, Inc provides payroll, human resource (HR), retirement, and insurance services for small to medium-sized businesses in the United States and Europe. The company offers payroll processing services; payroll tax administration services; employee payment services; and regulatory compliance services, such as new-hire reporting and garnishment processing.

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