Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) had its price target lifted by UBS Group from $198.00 to $200.00 in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Stock Target Advisor reports. The brokerage currently has a neutral rating on the business services provider’s stock.

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on MCO. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a GBX 3,200 ($41.81) price objective on shares of Diageo and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $16.00 target price on shares of WPX Energy and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of from GBX 1,430 ($18.69) to GBX 1,560 ($20.38) and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Gold Fields from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Yara International ASA from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $189.18.

Moody’s stock opened at $205.31 on Wednesday. Moody’s has a 52 week low of $129.26 and a 52 week high of $205.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 17.70, a quick ratio of 1.45 and a current ratio of 1.45. The stock has a market cap of $38.93 billion, a PE ratio of 27.78, a P/E/G ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.25. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $192.86.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The business services provider reported $2.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.88 by $0.19. The business had revenue of $1.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.13 billion. Moody’s had a net margin of 29.38% and a return on equity of 281.55%. The business’s revenue was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.02 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Moody’s will post 7.94 EPS for the current year.

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

In other news, EVP John J. Goggins sold 21,593 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $188.25, for a total transaction of $4,064,882.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 87,352 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,444,014. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 212,794 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $42,231,097.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 147,854 shares of company stock valued at $27,854,940. 0.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Norges Bank bought a new position in Moody’s during the 4th quarter worth $214,495,000. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of Moody’s by 54.5% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,962,568 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $554,918,000 after acquiring an additional 1,397,444 shares during the last quarter. Windacre Partnership LLC grew its position in shares of Moody’s by 204.6% during the fourth quarter. Windacre Partnership LLC now owns 1,617,300 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $226,487,000 after acquiring an additional 1,086,300 shares during the last quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Moody’s in the 1st quarter worth about $106,236,000. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 20.6% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,402,887 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $335,962,000 after acquiring an additional 410,864 shares during the period. 92.80% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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