Morgan Stanley Trims Moody’s (MCO) Target Price to $156.00

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Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) had its target price lowered by Morgan Stanley from $171.00 to $156.00 in a report released on Monday morning. Morgan Stanley currently has a hold rating on the business services provider’s stock.

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on MCO. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Moody’s from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. UBS Group lowered their target price on shares of Moody’s from $192.00 to $189.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on shares of Moody’s from $160.00 to $172.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Moody’s from $179.00 to $183.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on shares of Moody’s from $170.00 to $188.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $178.45.

NYSE MCO opened at $145.48 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 8.17, a quick ratio of 1.54 and a current ratio of 1.38. Moody’s has a 52-week low of $139.11 and a 52-week high of $187.98. The company has a market cap of $27.08 billion, a PE ratio of 23.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.08.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 26th. The business services provider reported $1.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.78 by ($0.09). Moody’s had a net margin of 23.85% and a return on equity of 412.48%. The business had revenue of $1.08 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.13 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.52 earnings per share. Moody’s’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Moody’s will post 7.55 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 12th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be issued a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 20th. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.21%. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.00%.

In related news, CFO Linda Huber purchased 915 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 6th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $172.31 per share, with a total value of $157,663.65. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MCO. Voya Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 223.2% in the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 858,597 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $146,442,000 after buying an additional 592,956 shares during the last quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. raised its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 145.9% in the third quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 815,894 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $136,418,000 after buying an additional 484,092 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 1,151.8% in the second quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 227,960 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $38,881,000 after buying an additional 209,750 shares during the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. raised its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 126.5% in the second quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 42,700 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $7,283,000 after buying an additional 204,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 16.8% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,371,496 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $233,923,000 after buying an additional 197,431 shares during the last quarter. 88.01% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Moody’s

Moody's Corporation provides credit ratings; and credit, capital markets, and economic related 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 comprising various corporate and governmental obligations, structured finance securities, and commercial paper programs.

Further Reading: What does cost of debt say about a company’s financial health?

Analyst Recommendations for Moody`s (NYSE:MCO)

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