Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) Coverage Initiated by Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on shares of Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) in a research note released on Wednesday, 24/7 WallStreet reports. The brokerage issued an overweight rating and a $220.00 price objective on the business services provider’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co raised shares of California Water Service Group to a market perform rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. UBS Group increased their price target on shares of Verisk Analytics from $106.00 to $111.00 and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Gold Fields from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of from GBX 1,430 ($18.69) to GBX 1,560 ($20.38) and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 11th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Yara International ASA from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $189.18.

MCO opened at $205.31 on Wednesday. Moody’s has a one year low of $129.26 and a one year high of $205.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 17.70, a current ratio of 1.45 and a quick ratio of 1.45. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $192.86. The company has a market capitalization of $38.93 billion, a PE ratio of 27.63, a P/E/G ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 1.25.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The business services provider reported $2.07 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.88 by $0.19. Moody’s had a net margin of 29.38% and a return on equity of 281.55%. The business had revenue of $1.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.13 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $2.02 earnings per share. Moody’s’s revenue was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Moody’s will post 7.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 10th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 20th will be paid a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 19th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.97%. Moody’s’s payout ratio is presently 27.06%.

In other Moody’s news, CEO Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 7,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $198.46, for a total value of $1,488,450.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 212,794 shares in the company, valued at $42,231,097.24. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 55,422 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $182.23, for a total transaction of $10,099,551.06. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 275,716 shares in the company, valued at $50,243,726.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 147,854 shares of company stock worth $27,854,940. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in Moody’s by 16.5% in the first quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 409 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $74,000 after purchasing an additional 58 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its holdings in Moody’s by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,036 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $145,000 after purchasing an additional 70 shares during the period. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in Moody’s by 1.7% in the first quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,304 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $779,000 after purchasing an additional 72 shares during the period. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. raised its holdings in Moody’s by 0.7% in the second quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 11,462 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,239,000 after purchasing an additional 81 shares during the period. Finally, HighPoint Advisor Group LLC raised its holdings in Moody’s by 5.6% in the first quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC now owns 1,576 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $303,000 after purchasing an additional 83 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 92.80% of the company’s stock.

About Moody’s

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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