BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Moody's Co. (NYSE:MCO) by 2.2% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 10,557,911 shares of the business services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 228,277 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned about 5.52% of Moody's worth $1,558,454,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Grove Bank & Trust increased its holdings in Moody's by 156.7% in the third 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 during the last quarter. Invictus RG acquired a new position in Moody's in the third quarter valued at $199,000. BTR Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in Moody's in the fourth quarter valued at $202,000. IFC Holdings Incorporated FL acquired a new position in Moody's in the third quarter valued at $203,000. Finally, Maple Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Moody's during the third quarter worth about $206,000. Institutional investors own 88.67% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Moody's in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Barclays increased their target price on shares of Moody's from $175.00 to $180.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, February 12th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $187.00 target price (up from $161.00) on shares of Moody's in a report on Monday, February 12th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $160.00 price objective on shares of Moody's and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Moody's from $159.00 to $161.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday, February 9th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $163.50.
Moody's (NYSE:MCO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 9th. The business services provider reported $1.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.45 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $1.17 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.07 billion. Moody's had a net margin of 23.80% and a negative return on equity of 319.45%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.23 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Moody's Co. will post 7.69 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 12th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th were paid a dividend of $0.44 per share. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.06%. This is a positive change from Moody's’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 16th. Moody's’s payout ratio is presently 45.36%.
In other news, VP Linda Huber sold 30,391 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.92, for a total transaction of $4,920,910.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Darrell Duffie sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.93, for a total transaction of $73,965.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 21,336 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,156,234.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 35,682 shares of company stock valued at $5,788,681. Company insiders own 1.17% of the company’s stock.
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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.
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