Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) Given New $279.00 Price Target at Stifel Nicolaus

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) had its target price upped by Stifel Nicolaus from $266.00 to $279.00 in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm currently has a hold rating on the business services provider’s stock.

MCO has been the subject of several other research reports. Cantor Fitzgerald increased their price target on shares of Moody’s from $233.00 to $266.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Moody’s from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and increased their price target for the company from $181.00 to $224.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 7th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on shares of Moody’s from $215.00 to $275.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Thursday. BMO Capital Markets restated an outperform rating and set a $294.00 price target on shares of Moody’s in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Moody’s from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $240.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 20th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $251.64.

Shares of NYSE MCO traded up $5.06 during trading on Thursday, hitting $277.83. The stock had a trading volume of 931,939 shares, compared to its average volume of 739,963. Moody’s has a 12 month low of $166.01 and a 12 month high of $278.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.50, a current ratio of 1.42 and a quick ratio of 1.42. The company has a market capitalization of $51.77 billion, a PE ratio of 40.68, a PEG ratio of 2.97 and a beta of 1.21. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $253.86 and a two-hundred day moving average of $226.77.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 12th. The business services provider reported $2.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.08. Moody’s had a net margin of 28.20% and a return on equity of 270.17%. The firm had revenue of $1.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.21 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.63 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 16.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Moody’s will post 8.2 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 18th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 25th will be given a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 24th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.81%. This is a positive change from Moody’s’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.06%.

In other Moody’s news, EVP John J. Goggins sold 7,673 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $259.88, for a total transaction of $1,994,059.24. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 49,578 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,884,330.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Robert Fauber sold 3,721 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $266.95, for a total transaction of $993,320.95. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 49,591 shares in the company, valued at $13,238,317.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 19,902 shares of company stock valued at $5,004,457. 0.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Princeton Global Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Moody’s during the fourth quarter valued at about $26,000. Penserra Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Moody’s during the third quarter valued at about $26,000. Venturi Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Moody’s during the third quarter valued at about $25,000. Evoke Wealth LLC purchased a new stake in Moody’s during the third quarter valued at about $26,000. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Moody’s during the fourth quarter valued at about $34,000. 90.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Moody’s Company Profile

Moody's Corporation provides credit ratings; and credit, capital markets, and economic research, data, and analytical tools worldwide. It operates through two segments, Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics. The Moody's Investors Service segment publishes credit ratings on various debt obligations and entities that issue such obligations, such as various corporate and governmental obligations, structured finance securities, and commercial paper programs.

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Analyst Recommendations for Moody`s (NYSE:MCO)

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