Moody's (MCO) Given New $155.00 Price Target at Cantor Fitzgerald

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) had its price objective increased by Cantor Fitzgerald from $148.00 to $155.00 in a report issued on Monday. They currently have a neutral rating on the business services provider’s stock. Cantor Fitzgerald also issued estimates for Moody's’ FY2018 earnings at $7.76 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $8.73 EPS.

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on MCO. Nomura assumed coverage on Moody's in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. They issued a buy rating and a $180.00 price target for the company. Credit Suisse Group reissued a neutral rating and issued a $187.00 price target (up previously from $161.00) on shares of Moody's in a research note on Monday. Wells Fargo & Co set a $160.00 price target on Moody's and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Monday. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Moody's from $159.00 to $161.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on Moody's in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They issued a hold rating and a $167.00 target price for the company. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $163.50.

Shares of Moody's (MCO) opened at $163.55 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $30,865.60, a P/E ratio of 26.89, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 1.36. Moody's has a 12 month low of $109.00 and a 12 month high of $167.23. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -48.22.

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 9th. The business services provider reported $1.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $1.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.07 billion. Moody's had a negative return on equity of 319.45% and a net margin of 23.80%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 23.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.23 EPS. research analysts expect that Moody's will post 7.5 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be given a dividend of $0.44 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 16th. This is a boost from Moody's’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.08%. Moody's’s payout ratio is currently 29.51%.

In other news, Director Darrell Duffie sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $147.93, for a total transaction of $73,965.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 21,336 shares in the company, valued at $3,156,234.48. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,005 shares of company stock worth $148,738. 1.17% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MCO. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in shares of Moody's by 213.8% during the fourth quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 960,801 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $141,824,000 after purchasing an additional 654,589 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in shares of Moody's by 136.7% during the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 466,500 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $68,860,000 after purchasing an additional 269,400 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Moody's by 2.2% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,557,911 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,558,454,000 after purchasing an additional 228,277 shares during the period. Meritage Group LP increased its position in shares of Moody's by 22.9% during the third quarter. Meritage Group LP now owns 1,209,041 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $168,311,000 after purchasing an additional 225,432 shares during the period. Finally, Mackenzie Financial Corp increased its position in shares of Moody's by 71.5% during the fourth quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 508,342 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $75,036,000 after purchasing an additional 211,895 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.31% of the company’s stock.

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About Moody's

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Moody's (NYSE:MCO)

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