NS Partners Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund purchased 72,139 shares of the business services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $15,257,000. Moody’s accounts for about 1.4% of NS Partners Ltd’s portfolio, making the stock its 26th biggest position.
Other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Princeton Global Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Moody’s during the fourth quarter worth $26,000. Allred Capital Management LLC increased its position in Moody’s by 42.4% in the 1st quarter. Allred Capital Management LLC now owns 141 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $30,000 after purchasing an additional 42 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Moody’s during the 4th quarter worth about $34,000. Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC bought a new stake in shares of Moody’s during the 4th quarter worth about $41,000. Finally, MCF Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Moody’s by 46.4% during the 4th quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 205 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $49,000 after acquiring an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.31% of the company’s stock.
In related news, CEO Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 42,905 shares of Moody’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $222.18, for a total value of $9,532,632.90. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 286,151 shares in the company, valued at approximately $63,577,029.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Mark Kaye sold 3,520 shares of Moody’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $240.00, for a total transaction of $844,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 7,303 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,752,720. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 73,852 shares of company stock valued at $17,242,701. Insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.
Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 30th. The business services provider reported $2.73 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.30 by $0.43. Moody’s had a net margin of 30.88% and a return on equity of 235.22%. The firm had revenue of $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.20 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.07 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Moody’s Co. will post 8.21 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 20th will be issued a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 19th. Moody’s’s payout ratio is 27.02%.
A number of analysts have commented on MCO shares. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on Moody’s from $210.00 to $215.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, May 1st. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on Moody’s from $248.00 to $285.00 in a report on Friday, May 1st. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on Moody’s from $266.00 to $279.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 13th. Argus raised their price target on Moody’s from $245.00 to $325.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 18th. Finally, Oppenheimer began coverage on Moody’s in a report on Monday, May 18th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $290.00 target price on the stock. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $266.92.
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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