Moody’s (MCO) Reaches New 1-Year High on Earnings Beat

Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Wednesday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The company traded as high as $194.57 and last traded at $194.32, with a volume of 44735 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $188.64.

The business services provider reported $2.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.88 by $0.19. Moody’s had a net margin of 29.48% and a return on equity of 268.11%. The company had revenue of $1.14 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.13 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.02 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 10th. Investors of record on Monday, May 20th will be paid a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. Moody’s’s payout ratio is 27.06%.

Several brokerages recently commented on MCO. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price objective on shares of Moody’s from $170.00 to $195.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday. ValuEngine raised shares of Moody’s from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on shares of Moody’s from $189.00 to $194.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday. UBS Group increased their price objective on shares of Moody’s from $170.00 to $198.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Moody’s from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Moody’s presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $183.00.

In related news, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 44,146 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $183.95, for a total value of $8,120,656.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 229,749 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $42,262,328.55. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MCO. Pearl River Capital LLC acquired a new position in Moody’s in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $28,000. JNBA Financial Advisors acquired a new position in Moody’s in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $43,000. JOYN Advisors Inc. increased its position in Moody’s by 1,747.4% in the 4th quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. now owns 351 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $49,000 after acquiring an additional 332 shares during the period. Lindbrook Capital LLC acquired a new position in Moody’s in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $52,000. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its position in Moody’s by 17,777.2% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 7,510,765 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $54,000 after acquiring an additional 7,468,752 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.10% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.96, a quick ratio of 1.61 and a current ratio of 1.61. The stock has a market cap of $35.62 billion, a PE ratio of 26.15, a P/E/G ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 1.29.

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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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