Moody's (NYSE:MCO) Upgraded to Overweight by Barclays

Barclays upgraded shares of Moody's (NYSE:MCO) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, November 17th, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has $165.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock, up from their previous target price of $150.00.

MCO has been the subject of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $137.00 price objective (up from $131.00) on shares of Moody's in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a hold rating and set a $148.00 price target on shares of Moody's in a report on Monday, November 6th. UBS boosted their price target on Moody's from $138.00 to $142.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. Argus boosted their price target on Moody's to $165.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a market perform rating and set a $136.00 price objective (up previously from $135.00) on shares of Moody's in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Moody's has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $151.89.

Moody's (MCO) traded up $0.19 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $152.27. The stock had a trading volume of 605,777 shares, compared to its average volume of 838,776. Moody's has a 52 week low of $93.51 and a 52 week high of $153.86. The firm has a market capitalization of $28,999.43, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.48, a P/E/G ratio of 2.69 and a beta of 1.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -32.57, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.15.

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The business services provider reported $1.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $1.06 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $992.81 million. Moody's had a negative return on equity of 187.20% and a net margin of 13.73%. The business’s revenue was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.34 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Moody's will post 5.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 12th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 21st will be given a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 20th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.00%. Moody's’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 54.29%.

In related news, Director Darrell Duffie sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $138.41, for a total value of $69,205.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 21,804 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,017,891.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 45,216 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.16, for a total value of $6,066,178.56. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 292,310 shares in the company, valued at $39,216,309.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 49,716 shares of company stock worth $6,703,384 in the last quarter. 1.17% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Grove Bank & Trust raised its position in shares of Moody's by 156.7% during the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 901 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 550 shares in the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc increased its position in shares of Moody's by 78.1% during the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,145 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $139,000 after acquiring an additional 502 shares during the period. Sun Life Financial INC increased its position in shares of Moody's by 12,200.0% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,230 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $150,000 after acquiring an additional 1,220 shares during the period. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. increased its position in shares of Moody's by 0.6% during the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 1,346 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $164,000 after acquiring an additional 8 shares during the period. Finally, Smithfield Trust Co. boosted its stake in Moody's by 6.7% in the second quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 1,427 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $174,000 after acquiring an additional 90 shares in the last quarter. 87.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Moody's Company Profile

Moody’s Corporation (Moody’s) is a provider of credit ratings; credit, capital markets and economic related research, data and analytical tools; software solutions and related risk management services, quantitative credit risk measures, financial services training and certification services, and research and analytical services to financial institution customers.

Analyst Recommendations for Moody's (NYSE:MCO)

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