Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:ADP) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday.

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 research firms also recently commented on ADP. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Automatic Data Processing from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Automatic Data Processing from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $98.00 to $100.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Barclays PLC restated an equal weight rating and set a $105.00 price target on shares of Automatic Data Processing in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. BMO Capital Markets restated a market perform rating and set a $105.00 price target on shares of Automatic Data Processing in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Finally, Citigroup Inc. restated a neutral rating and set a $110.00 price target (up from $98.00) on shares of Automatic Data Processing in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Automatic Data Processing currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $107.29.

Automatic Data Processing (NYSE ADP) opened at 111.40 on Monday. Automatic Data Processing has a one year low of $85.48 and a one year high of $121.77. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $107.12 and a 200-day moving average of $104.22. The stock has a market capitalization of $49.50 billion and a PE ratio of 28.94.

Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:ADP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The business services provider reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by ($0.02). Automatic Data Processing had a return on equity of 26.39% and a net margin of 8.67%. The company had revenue of $3.06 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.04 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.69 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Automatic Data Processing will post $3.81 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, October 1st. Investors of record on Friday, September 8th were issued a $0.57 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $2.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.05%.

In other news, VP Maria Black sold 631 shares of Automatic Data Processing stock in a transaction that occurred on Saturday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.64, for a total value of $67,289.84. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 10,550 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,125,052. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Carlos A. Rodriguez sold 36,363 shares of Automatic Data Processing stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.00, for a total transaction of $3,999,930.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 146,494 shares in the company, valued at $16,114,340. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 40,657 shares of company stock worth $4,457,476.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ADP. Usca Ria LLC grew its position in Automatic Data Processing by 14.4% during the first quarter. Usca Ria LLC now owns 3,442 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $352,000 after purchasing an additional 432 shares in the last quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC grew its position in Automatic Data Processing by 1.1% during the first quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC now owns 4,496 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $460,000 after purchasing an additional 47 shares in the last quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI grew its position in Automatic Data Processing by 74.6% during the first quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 37,168 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $3,806,000 after purchasing an additional 15,884 shares in the last quarter. Webster Bank N. A. grew its position in Automatic Data Processing by 5.5% during the first quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 17,609 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,803,000 after purchasing an additional 925 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tyers Asset Management LLC grew its position in Automatic Data Processing by 19.5% during the first quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 11,680 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,196,000 after purchasing an additional 1,904 shares in the last quarter.

About Automatic Data Processing

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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