Investors Buy Shares of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) on Weakness

Traders bought shares of Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $176.98 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $80.39 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $96.59 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Automatic Data Processing had the 18th highest net in-flow for the day. Automatic Data Processing traded down ($0.43) for the day and closed at $143.18

A number of brokerages have recently commented on ADP. Zacks Investment Research raised Automatic Data Processing from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. BidaskClub raised Automatic Data Processing from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. Barclays began coverage on Automatic Data Processing in a report on Wednesday, November 14th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $168.00 price target on the stock. Guggenheim began coverage on Automatic Data Processing in a report on Monday, August 20th. They set a “buy” rating and a $175.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Citigroup raised their price target on Automatic Data Processing from $137.00 to $147.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Automatic Data Processing presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $151.19.

The firm has a market capitalization of $62.86 billion, a PE ratio of 31.02, a PEG ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 1.03 and a quick ratio of 1.03.

Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The business services provider reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.11 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $3.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.28 billion. Automatic Data Processing had a return on equity of 50.96% and a net margin of 12.71%. Automatic Data Processing’s revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.94 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts predict that Automatic Data Processing will post 5.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 1st. Investors of record on Friday, December 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.79 per share. This is a positive change from Automatic Data Processing’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.69. This represents a $3.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.21%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 13th. Automatic Data Processing’s payout ratio is presently 63.45%.

In related news, CEO Carlos A. Rodriguez sold 62,228 shares of Automatic Data Processing stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $145.59, for a total transaction of $9,059,774.52. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 137,177 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $19,971,599.43. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Michael C. Eberhard sold 9,100 shares of Automatic Data Processing stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.00, for a total value of $1,365,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 48,468 shares in the company, valued at $7,270,200. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 172,948 shares of company stock worth $25,409,660. 0.33% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ADP. Atlantic Trust LLC acquired a new position in shares of Automatic Data Processing in the 2nd quarter valued at $104,000. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC acquired a new position in shares of Automatic Data Processing in the 2nd quarter valued at $111,000. Fort L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Automatic Data Processing in the 2nd quarter valued at $119,000. Willingdon Wealth Management boosted its position in shares of Automatic Data Processing by 328.5% in the 3rd quarter. Willingdon Wealth Management now owns 857 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $129,000 after purchasing an additional 657 shares during the period. Finally, Almanack Investment Partners LLC. acquired a new position in shares of Automatic Data Processing in the 3rd quarter valued at $136,000. 77.93% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP)

Automatic Data Processing, Inc provides business process outsourcing services worldwide. It operates through two segments, Employer Services and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services. The Employer Services segment offers various human resources (HR) outsourcing and technology-based human capital management solutions.

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