Moody’s Corporation (MCO) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday, July 11th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Moody’s have underperformed the Zacks categorized Miscellaneous Financial Services industry, in the last one year. While we are optimistic about the company’s prospects given its diverse operations, strong balance sheet position and dominant position in the credit rating industry, the uncertain macro environment is expected to adversely impact the volume of debt securities issued in globally and the demand for credit ratings. Also, stricter regulatory landscapes, mounting expenses, stiff competition across the credit rating industry and litigations issues remain other major near-term concerns.”

MCO has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub raised Moody’s Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $116.00 price objective on shares of Moody’s Corporation in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Moody’s Corporation from $117.00 to $118.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th. Barclays PLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $118.00 price target on shares of Moody’s Corporation in a report on Thursday, April 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $124.00 price target on shares of Moody’s Corporation in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $127.13.

Shares of Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) traded down 1.06% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $127.70. The company had a trading volume of 817,439 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 51.31 and a beta of 1.29. Moody’s Corporation has a 12-month low of $93.51 and a 12-month high of $135.20. The company has a 50 day moving average of $125.51 and a 200 day moving average of $115.83.

Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 21st. The business services provider reported $1.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.33 by $0.18. Moody’s Corporation had a negative return on equity of 167.31% and a net margin of 12.63%. The company had revenue of $1 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $968.78 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.30 earnings per share. Moody’s Corporation’s revenue was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Moody’s Corporation will post $5.51 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 45,216 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $129.03, for a total transaction of $5,834,220.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 292,310 shares in the company, valued at approximately $37,716,759.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Linda Huber sold 13,698 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.50, for a total value of $1,636,911.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 77,836 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,301,402. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 257,828 shares of company stock valued at $30,938,654. 1.17% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of MCO. Regent Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Moody’s Corporation during the first quarter worth $1,112,000. Allen Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Moody’s Corporation by 11.3% in the first quarter. Allen Investment Management LLC now owns 788,544 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $88,348,000 after buying an additional 80,012 shares during the period. Quadrature Capital Ltd raised its stake in shares of Moody’s Corporation by 965.6% in the fourth quarter. Quadrature Capital Ltd now owns 84,180 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $7,937,000 after buying an additional 76,280 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Moody’s Corporation by 6.4% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 523,807 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $58,688,000 after buying an additional 31,365 shares during the period. Finally, Schwartz Investment Counsel Inc. raised its stake in shares of Moody’s Corporation by 20.7% in the first quarter. Schwartz Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 446,600 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $50,037,000 after buying an additional 76,600 shares during the period. 88.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Moody’s Corporation

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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