Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 10,010,780 shares, a decrease of 24.3% from the December 15th total of 13,225,105 shares. Approximately 3.1% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,932,474 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.2 days.

Shares of Paychex (PAYX) opened at $67.66 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $24,290.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.04, a P/E/G ratio of 3.71 and a beta of 0.99. Paychex has a 52-week low of $54.20 and a 52-week high of $70.39.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 21st. The business services provider reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59. The company had revenue of $826.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $823.48 million. Paychex had a return on equity of 42.80% and a net margin of 26.02%. Paychex’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.56 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Paychex will post 2.38 EPS for the current fiscal year.

PAYX has been the subject of a number of research reports. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $57.00 target price on shares of Paychex in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Bank of America increased their target price on Paychex from $68.00 to $73.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. BidaskClub upgraded Paychex from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Citigroup upgraded Paychex from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $67.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co increased their target price on Paychex from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and twelve have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. Paychex has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $62.10.

In other Paychex news, insider Michael E. Gioja sold 34,311 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.91, for a total value of $2,364,371.01. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 63,374 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,367,102.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP John B. Gibson sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.70, for a total value of $382,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 21,758 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,385,984.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 11.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. lifted its position in Paychex by 0.6% in the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 1,796 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC increased its stake in Paychex by 23,260.0% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 2,336 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $133,000 after purchasing an additional 2,326 shares during the period. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA purchased a new stake in Paychex in the second quarter worth $145,000. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. purchased a new stake in Paychex in the third quarter worth $188,000. Finally, Yorktown Management & Research Co Inc purchased a new stake in Paychex in the third quarter worth $210,000. Institutional investors own 67.85% of the company’s stock.

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About Paychex

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.

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