Morgan Stanley Boosts Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) Price Target to $278.00

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) had its price target raised by Morgan Stanley from $261.00 to $278.00 in a report issued on Wednesday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The brokerage currently has an equal weight rating on the business services provider’s stock.

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on MCO. Goldman Sachs Group upped their price target on shares of Moody’s from $258.00 to $295.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 8th. Oppenheimer assumed coverage on shares of Moody’s in a research note on Monday, May 18th. They set an outperform rating and a $290.00 price objective on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reissued a buy rating and set a $330.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s in a research note on Tuesday, July 28th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Moody’s from $285.00 to $298.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, June 8th. Finally, UBS Group upped their price objective on shares of Moody’s from $270.00 to $344.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 8th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $290.75.

Shares of NYSE MCO opened at $281.30 on Wednesday. Moody’s has a 12-month low of $164.19 and a 12-month high of $296.66. The company has a market capitalization of $52.74 billion, a PE ratio of 34.90, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.14 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 9.17, a current ratio of 2.10 and a quick ratio of 1.70. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $281.46 and its two-hundred day moving average is $255.09.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 30th. The business services provider reported $2.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.26 by $0.55. Moody’s had a net margin of 33.38% and a return on equity of 204.46%. The company had revenue of $1.44 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.23 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.07 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Moody’s will post 9.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 19th. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.02%.

In other news, insider Stephen T. Tulenko sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $293.01, for a total value of $439,515.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 8,044 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,356,972.44. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Stephen T. Tulenko sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $253.22, for a total transaction of $506,440.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 11,544 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,923,171.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 60,727 shares of company stock worth $16,235,465. 0.79% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Allred Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Moody’s by 42.4% in the first quarter. Allred Capital Management LLC now owns 141 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $30,000 after acquiring an additional 42 shares in the last quarter. MAI Capital Management increased its position in shares of Moody’s by 3.0% in the first quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 1,535 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $325,000 after acquiring an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Cypress Capital Group increased its position in shares of Moody’s by 1.0% in the first quarter. Cypress Capital Group now owns 4,977 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,053,000 after acquiring an additional 48 shares in the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Moody’s by 6.1% during the 2nd quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 957 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $263,000 after purchasing an additional 55 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IMS Capital Management grew its holdings in Moody’s by 3.4% during the 1st quarter. IMS Capital Management now owns 1,830 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $387,000 after purchasing an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. 90.27% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Moody’s Company Profile

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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