Stock Traders Purchase Large Volume of Moody's Put Options (NYSE:MCO)

Moody's Co. (NYSE:MCO) was the target of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders acquired 1,581 put options on the stock. This is an increase of Infinity compared to the average volume of 0 put options.

In other news, Director Ewald Kist sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.00, for a total transaction of $568,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 45,216 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.16, for a total value of $6,066,178.56. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 292,310 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $39,216,309.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 49,716 shares of company stock worth $6,703,384 over the last ninety days. 1.17% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Moody's by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 360,335 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $43,846,000 after acquiring an additional 3,364 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Moody's by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 16,203,350 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,971,623,000 after purchasing an additional 463,669 shares in the last quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Moody's in the 3rd quarter worth about $336,000. State Treasurer State of Michigan boosted its holdings in shares of Moody's by 4.2% in the 2nd quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 159,015 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $19,349,000 after purchasing an additional 6,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fiera Capital Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Moody's by 17.8% in the 2nd quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 5,793,968 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $705,010,000 after purchasing an additional 876,210 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on MCO. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $148.00 target price on shares of Moody's in a report on Wednesday, November 29th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on Moody's from $143.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, November 6th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on Moody's from $137.00 to $161.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, November 6th. UBS raised their price objective on Moody's from $142.00 to $150.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Argus raised their price objective on Moody's to $165.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $151.89.

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) traded up $0.33 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $152.08. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 724,559 shares, compared to its average volume of 839,772. The stock has a market capitalization of $28,913.43, a PE ratio of 26.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.68 and a beta of 1.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -32.57, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.15. Moody's has a twelve month low of $93.51 and a twelve month high of $153.86.

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) last issued its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The business services provider reported $1.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $1.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $992.81 million. Moody's had a negative return on equity of 187.20% and a net margin of 13.73%. The business’s revenue was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.34 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Moody's will post 5.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 12th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 20th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.00%. Moody's’s payout ratio is 54.29%.

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Moody's Company Profile

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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