Empirical Finance LLC boosted its stake in Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) by 16.4% in the second quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 1,920 shares of the business services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 270 shares during the quarter. Empirical Finance LLC’s holdings in Moody’s were worth $696,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC increased its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 68.8% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 15,013 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,483,000 after buying an additional 6,120 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 72.6% during the 1st quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 142,520 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $42,558,000 after acquiring an additional 59,964 shares in the last quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. grew its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 4.3% during the 1st quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. now owns 53,148 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $15,870,000 after acquiring an additional 2,192 shares in the last quarter. Glassman Wealth Services grew its holdings in shares of Moody’s by 40.4% during the 1st quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 132 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $39,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bridges Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Moody’s by 170.7% in the first quarter. Bridges Investment Management Inc. now owns 7,038 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,101,000 after purchasing an additional 4,438 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.93% of the company’s stock.
In other news, insider Michael L. West sold 680 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $382.35, for a total transaction of $259,998.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,501 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,485,657.35. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Robert Fauber sold 447 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $362.50, for a total value of $162,037.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 6,266 shares of company stock worth $2,371,014 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.
Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 28th. The business services provider reported $3.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.76 by $0.46. The company had revenue of $1.55 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.49 billion. Moody’s had a return on equity of 111.33% and a net margin of 36.11%. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Moody’s Co. will post 11.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 20th were issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 19th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.65%. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.43%.
MCO has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Oppenheimer upped their price target on shares of Moody’s from $406.00 to $418.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on shares of Moody’s from $322.00 to $376.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised Moody’s from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $395.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 29th. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on Moody’s in a research note on Wednesday, July 7th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $409.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, UBS Group lowered Moody’s from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $383.00 to $392.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 29th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $386.64.
Moody’s Company Profile
Moody’s Corp. engages in the provision of credit ratings, research, tools and analysis to the global capital markets. It operates through the following segments: Moody’s Investors Service (MIS) and Moody’s Analytics (MA). The MIS segment is a credit rating agency, which publishes credit ratings on debt obligations and the entities, including various corporate and governmental obligations, structured finance securities and commercial paper programs.
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