Shares of Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Friday . Approximately 2,863,142 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 41% from the previous session’s volume of 2,027,577 shares.The stock last traded at $58.30 and had previously closed at $59.01.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on PAYX shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Paychex from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 2nd. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price (up previously from $59.50) on shares of Paychex in a research note on Friday, July 1st. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $58.00 target price (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Paychex in a research note on Tuesday, July 5th. Jefferies Group reiterated an “underperform” rating and issued a $40.00 target price on shares of Paychex in a research note on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 target price (up previously from $51.00) on shares of Paychex in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.00.

The firm has a market capitalization of $20.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.86 and a beta of 0.82. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $60.00 and its 200 day moving average price is $55.96.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 30th. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.49. The firm had revenue of $753.90 million for the quarter. Paychex had a net margin of 25.64% and a return on equity of 39.54%. The company’s revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.44 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Paychex Inc. will post $2.21 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 25th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 1st were given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This is a boost from Paychex’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 28th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.16%. Paychex’s payout ratio is presently 88.04%.

In other Paychex news, insider Stephanie L. Schaeffer sold 3,438 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.33, for a total value of $210,852.54. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Laurie L. Zaucha sold 13,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.50, for a total transaction of $749,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 44,319 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,459,704.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 11.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of PAYX. Davis R M Inc. boosted its position in Paychex by 58.9% in the first quarter. Davis R M Inc. now owns 7,150 shares of the company’s stock worth $386,000 after buying an additional 2,650 shares during the last quarter. Van Cleef Asset Management Inc boosted its position in Paychex by 1.1% in the first quarter. Van Cleef Asset Management Inc now owns 130,453 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,046,000 after buying an additional 1,442 shares during the last quarter. BLB&B Advisors LLC boosted its position in Paychex by 7.6% in the first quarter. BLB&B Advisors LLC now owns 30,182 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,630,000 after buying an additional 2,125 shares during the last quarter. Coastline Trust Co boosted its position in Paychex by 0.3% in the first quarter. Coastline Trust Co now owns 53,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,890,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Iberiabank Corp boosted its position in Paychex by 8.7% in the first quarter. Iberiabank Corp now owns 78,388 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,234,000 after buying an additional 6,294 shares during the last quarter. 69.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Paychex Company Profile

Paychex, Inc is a provider of integrated human capital management (HCM) solutions for payroll, human resource (HR), retirement and insurance services for small- to medium-sized businesses in the United States. The Company also has operations in Germany. The Company offers services, including Payroll processing, Human Resource Services, and Accounting and Financial Services.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:PAYX

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