Clark Capital Management Group Inc. decreased its stake in Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) by 6.8% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 3,556 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 260 shares during the quarter. Clark Capital Management Group Inc.’s holdings in Paychex were worth $285,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Pinnacle Bank lifted its stake in shares of Paychex by 2.5% in the first quarter. Pinnacle Bank now owns 5,105 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $409,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares during the period. Exeter Financial LLC increased its holdings in Paychex by 1.0% during the 1st quarter. Exeter Financial LLC now owns 12,805 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,027,000 after acquiring an additional 128 shares in the last quarter. Carlton Hofferkamp & Jenks Wealth Management LLC increased its holdings in Paychex by 1.0% during the 1st quarter. Carlton Hofferkamp & Jenks Wealth Management LLC now owns 13,562 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,088,000 after acquiring an additional 130 shares in the last quarter. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. increased its holdings in Paychex by 1.4% during the 1st quarter. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. now owns 9,667 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $775,000 after acquiring an additional 138 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Clifford Swan Investment Counsel LLC increased its holdings in Paychex by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. Clifford Swan Investment Counsel LLC now owns 6,580 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $429,000 after acquiring an additional 145 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.77% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded shares of Paychex from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. Barclays raised their target price on shares of Paychex from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, April 1st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on shares of Paychex from $82.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, March 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Paychex currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $74.14.

In other news, Director David J. S. Flaschen sold 18,154 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.74, for a total transaction of $1,538,369.96. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 34,223 shares in the company, valued at $2,900,057.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible 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 transaction of $1,292,116.68. Following the sale, the insider now owns 63,039 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,469,263.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 135,127 shares of company stock valued at $11,173,791. Insiders own 11.80% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ:PAYX opened at $87.15 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $31.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.36 and a beta of 1.04. Paychex, Inc. has a twelve month low of $61.32 and a twelve month high of $87.75. The company has a quick ratio of 1.11, a current ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, March 27th. The business services provider reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.89. The business had revenue of $1.07 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.07 billion. Paychex had a net margin of 28.19% and a return on equity of 43.20%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 14.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.63 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that Paychex, Inc. will post 2.85 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, May 30th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 14th. This is an increase from Paychex’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.85%. Paychex’s payout ratio is 97.25%.

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Paychex Company Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX)

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