Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:ADP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday, October 2nd.

According to Zacks, “ADP has outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. We expect investments in new initiatives will continue to weigh on the company’s near-term bottom-line results. Increasing competition is also a headwind. Moreover, continuing crticism from activist investor Bill Ackman is expected to management under pressure, which will remain an overhang on the stock. Nonetheless, the company’s higher revenue per client and a decent customer retention ratio place it in an advantageous position. Also, ADP holds a dominant position in the payroll processing and human capital management market, primarily due to its robust product portfolio.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) lowered shares of Automatic Data Processing from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $115.00 to $108.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. BidaskClub upgraded Automatic Data Processing from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their price objective on shares of Automatic Data Processing from $94.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and issued a $108.00 price objective (up previously from $103.00) on shares of Automatic Data Processing in a research note on Sunday, July 30th. Finally, Barclays PLC downgraded shares of Automatic Data Processing from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $110.00 to $105.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Automatic Data Processing currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $107.81.

Automatic Data Processing (NYSE ADP) traded up 0.24% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $113.86. 1,239,310 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $108.85 and its 200-day moving average price is $104.72. The company has a market capitalization of $50.60 billion and a PE ratio of 29.57. Automatic Data Processing has a 1-year low of $85.48 and a 1-year high of $121.77.

Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:ADP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The business services provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $3.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.04 billion. Automatic Data Processing had a return on equity of 26.39% and a net margin of 8.67%. Automatic Data Processing’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.69 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Automatic Data Processing will post $3.81 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, VP Brock Albinson sold 3,663 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.54, for a total transaction of $390,256.02. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 6,287 shares in the company, valued at approximately $669,816.98. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Carlos A. Rodriguez sold 36,363 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.00, for a total value of $3,999,930.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 146,494 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,114,340. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 40,657 shares of company stock valued at $4,457,476 over the last quarter.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Goelzer Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in Automatic Data Processing by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. Goelzer Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,239 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $434,000 after buying an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America grew its holdings in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,740 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $178,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank grew its holdings in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 3,392 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $348,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 2,778 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $282,000 after purchasing an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Personal Capital Advisors Corp grew its holdings in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 2,371 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $243,000 after purchasing an additional 16 shares in the last quarter.

About Automatic Data Processing

Automatic Data Processing, Inc (ADP) is a provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions to employers, offering solutions to businesses of various sizes. The Company also provides business process outsourcing solutions. Its segments include Employer Services and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services.

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