Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

Shares of Morningstar (NASDAQ MORN) traded up $0.57 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $96.77. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 38,388 shares, compared to its average volume of 46,636. Morningstar has a 12 month low of $68.43 and a 12 month high of $99.11. The company has a quick ratio of 1.69, a current ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. The stock has a market cap of $4,103.69, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.75 and a beta of 0.77.

Morningstar declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Friday, December 8th that permits the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the business services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Morningstar news, Director Steven N. Kaplan sold 2,500 shares of Morningstar stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.91, for a total value of $242,275.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 42,021 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,072,255.11. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jack Noonan sold 20,000 shares of Morningstar stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.46, for a total value of $1,709,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,344 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $285,778.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 25,500 shares of company stock valued at $2,224,600. 57.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MORN. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its holdings in shares of Morningstar by 6.9% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,510 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 98 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Morningstar in the third quarter valued at about $128,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Morningstar by 12.2% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 2,321 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $182,000 after buying an additional 253 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Morningstar in the third quarter valued at about $219,000. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can grew its stake in shares of Morningstar by 75.4% in the third quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 2,725 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $231,000 after buying an additional 1,171 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 38.65% of the company’s stock.

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About Morningstar

Morningstar, Inc is a provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The Company focuses to create products that help investors reach their financial goals. It offers a range of data, software, research, and investment management offerings for financial advisors, asset managers, sponsors, and individual investors.

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