Moody’s Co. (NYSE:MCO) was the recipient of a significant decline in short interest in the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 2,113,200 shares, a decline of 25.5% from the May 30th total of 2,836,300 shares. Approximately 1.1% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 911,900 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.3 days.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on MCO. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Gold Fields from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Yara International ASA from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 19th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $37.00 price target on shares of Vocera Communications in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of California Water Service Group to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $16.00 price target on shares of WPX Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Moody’s has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $189.18.

In related news, CEO Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 7,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $198.46, for a total transaction of $1,488,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 212,794 shares in the company, valued at $42,231,097.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Raymond W. Mcdaniel sold 55,422 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $182.23, for a total transaction of $10,099,551.06. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 275,716 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $50,243,726.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 147,854 shares of company stock valued at $27,854,940. Corporate insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Moody’s by 2.2% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,278,489 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,223,511,000 after purchasing an additional 265,811 shares during the last quarter. Fiera Capital Corp boosted its holdings in Moody’s by 3.7% during the first quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 6,406,787 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,160,205,000 after purchasing an additional 230,386 shares during the last quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. boosted its holdings in Moody’s by 0.3% during the first quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 6,012,312 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,088,769,000 after purchasing an additional 17,364 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in Moody’s by 15.7% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,583,309 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $829,991,000 after purchasing an additional 620,741 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Moody’s by 20.6% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,402,887 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $335,962,000 after purchasing an additional 410,864 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.80% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Moody’s stock traded up $3.65 on Friday, hitting $205.31. The company had a trading volume of 564,530 shares, compared to its average volume of 968,765. The company has a market capitalization of $38.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.78, a P/E/G ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.25. Moody’s has a twelve month low of $129.26 and a twelve month high of $205.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 17.70, a current ratio of 1.45 and a quick ratio of 1.45. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $192.86.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The business services provider reported $2.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.88 by $0.19. The company had revenue of $1.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.13 billion. Moody’s had a net margin of 29.38% and a return on equity of 281.55%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.02 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Moody’s will post 7.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 10th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 20th will be issued a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.97%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 19th. Moody’s’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.06%.

About Moody’s

Moody's Corporation provides credit ratings; and credit, capital markets, and economic research, data, and analytical tools worldwide. It operates through two segments, Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics. The Moody's Investors Service segment publishes credit ratings on various debt obligations and entities that issue such obligations, such as various corporate and governmental obligations, structured finance securities, and commercial paper programs.

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