Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:ADP) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:ADP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Monday, October 16th. Zacks Investment Research currently has $128.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “ADP has outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. We expect investments in new initiatives will continue to weigh on the company’s near-term bottom-line results. Increasing competition is also a headwind. Moreover, continuing crticism from activist investor Bill Ackman is expected to management under pressure, which will remain an overhang on the stock. Nonetheless, the company’s higher revenue per client and a decent customer retention ratio place it in an advantageous position. Also, ADP holds a dominant position in the payroll processing and human capital management market, primarily due to its robust product portfolio.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on ADP. BidaskClub upgraded Automatic Data Processing from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. Morgan Stanley cut Automatic Data Processing from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $98.00 to $100.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Bank of America Corporation lifted their price objective on Automatic Data Processing from $111.00 to $114.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Barclays PLC reiterated an equal weight rating and set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Automatic Data Processing in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a market perform rating and set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Automatic Data Processing in a research note on Monday, August 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Automatic Data Processing currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $109.96.

Shares of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) opened at 118.25 on Monday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $110.88 and a 200-day moving average of $105.50. Automatic Data Processing has a 12 month low of $86.53 and a 12 month high of $121.77. The firm has a market capitalization of $52.55 billion and a P/E ratio of 30.71.

Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:ADP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The business services provider reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by ($0.02). Automatic Data Processing had a net margin of 8.67% and a return on equity of 26.39%. The firm had revenue of $3.06 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.04 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.69 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Automatic Data Processing will post $3.82 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, October 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th were issued a dividend of $0.57 per share. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 7th.

In other Automatic Data Processing news, VP Brock Albinson sold 3,663 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.54, for a total transaction of $390,256.02. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 6,287 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $669,816.98. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Maria Black sold 631 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Saturday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.64, for a total value of $67,289.84. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 10,550 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,125,052. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 2.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 34,999,981 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,586,099,000 after acquiring an additional 811,960 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 0.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 29,869,208 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,060,398,000 after acquiring an additional 237,439 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 6.2% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 8,345,691 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $854,515,000 after acquiring an additional 485,320 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 2.9% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 6,794,660 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $696,182,000 after acquiring an additional 190,717 shares during the period. Finally, Polen Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 6.6% in the second quarter. Polen Capital Management LLC now owns 6,661,902 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $682,578,000 after acquiring an additional 411,369 shares during the period.

Automatic Data Processing Company Profile

Automatic Data Processing, Inc (ADP) is a provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions to employers, offering solutions to businesses of various sizes. The Company also provides business process outsourcing solutions. Its segments include Employer Services and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services.

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