Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) Hits New 1-Year High Following Strong Earnings

Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) shares hit a new 52-week high during trading on Wednesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The company traded as high as $215.72 and last traded at $212.19, with a volume of 5385 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $202.24.

The business services provider reported $2.07 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.98 by $0.09. Moody’s had a return on equity of 281.55% and a net margin of 29.38%. The firm had revenue of $1.21 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.20 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $2.04 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 10th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 19th. Moody’s’s payout ratio is currently 27.06%.

A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price objective on Moody’s from $214.00 to $228.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Moody’s from $150.00 to $164.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 10th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price objective on Moody’s from $170.00 to $195.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. UBS Group boosted their price objective on Moody’s from $200.00 to $215.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on Moody’s from $189.00 to $194.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Moody’s presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $196.30.

In other Moody’s news, SVP Melanie Hughes sold 3,039 shares of Moody’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.52, for a total transaction of $600,263.28. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 3,912 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $772,698.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 55,421 shares of Moody’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $193.11, for a total value of $10,702,349.31. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 241,024 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $46,544,144.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 147,854 shares of company stock valued at $27,854,940. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MCO. FMR LLC raised its position in Moody’s by 15.7% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,583,309 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $829,991,000 after purchasing an additional 620,741 shares in the last quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC bought a new stake in Moody’s during the 1st quarter valued at $106,236,000. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in Moody’s by 20.6% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,402,887 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $335,962,000 after purchasing an additional 410,864 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Moody’s by 2.2% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,278,489 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,223,511,000 after purchasing an additional 265,811 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in Moody’s by 712.1% during the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 267,416 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $48,426,000 after purchasing an additional 234,486 shares in the last quarter. 92.68% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The company has a quick ratio of 1.45, a current ratio of 1.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 17.70. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $199.87. The stock has a market capitalization of $38.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.81, a P/E/G ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.25.

About Moody’s (NYSE:MCO)

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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