Essex Financial Services Inc. bought a new stake in CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME) in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm bought 2,363 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $345,000.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in CME Group during the third quarter valued at $124,000. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. purchased a new position in CME Group during the third quarter valued at $165,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in CME Group during the fourth quarter valued at $203,000. LaFleur & Godfrey LLC purchased a new position in CME Group during the third quarter valued at $204,000. Finally, Wesbanco Bank Inc. purchased a new position in CME Group during the fourth quarter valued at $205,000. Institutional investors own 82.85% of the company’s stock.

CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME) opened at $160.13 on Tuesday. CME Group Inc has a one year low of $114.82 and a one year high of $163.00. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10. The firm has a market capitalization of $53,190.19, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.41, a PEG ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.64.

CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.10 by $0.02. CME Group had a return on equity of 7.68% and a net margin of 111.49%. The firm had revenue of $900.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $886.85 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.14 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that CME Group Inc will post 6.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be paid a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 8th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.75%. This is a boost from CME Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. CME Group’s payout ratio is currently 22.11%.

In related news, Director Jeffrey M. Bernacchi sold 1,501 shares of CME Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $149.75, for a total value of $224,774.75. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 60,194 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,014,051.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Sunil Cutinho sold 2,600 shares of CME Group stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $139.57, for a total value of $362,882.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 22,301 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,112,550.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 67,128 shares of company stock valued at $10,086,157 in the last ninety days. 0.57% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

CME has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on CME Group from $135.00 to $147.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. BidaskClub cut CME Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Citigroup lifted their price objective on CME Group from $138.00 to $155.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded CME Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $164.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Berenberg Bank started coverage on CME Group in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $170.00 price target for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $157.00.

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CME Group Company Profile

CME Group Inc, through its exchanges, provides products across all asset classes, including futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural products and metals. The Company’s segment primarily consists of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc (CME), Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc (CBOT), New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc (NYMEX) and Commodity Exchange, Inc (COMEX) exchanges.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for CME Group (NASDAQ:CME)

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