Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) Lifted to “Equal Weight” at Morgan Stanley

Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, Marketbeat reports. The firm presently has a $55.00 price objective on the business services provider’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target suggests a potential upside of 0.04% from the company’s previous close. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

PAYX has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub upgraded Paychex from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. William Blair downgraded Paychex from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Wedbush restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $61.25 target price (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Paychex in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Paychex in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Robert W. Baird cut their target price on Paychex from $63.00 to $60.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $59.16.

Shares of Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) opened at 54.98 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $56.67 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.82. Paychex has a 52-week low of $52.78 and a 52-week high of $63.03. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.76 billion, a PE ratio of 24.44 and a beta of 0.96.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, June 28th. The business services provider reported $0.54 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53 by $0.01. Paychex had a return on equity of 42.65% and a net margin of 25.93%. The firm had revenue of $799 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $797.70 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.49 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Paychex will post $2.37 EPS for the current year.

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In other Paychex news, CEO Martin Mucci sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.04, for a total transaction of $1,711,200.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 237,754 shares in the company, valued at $13,561,488.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Mark Anthony Bottini sold 7,139 shares of the stock in a transaction on Sunday, July 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.39, for a total value of $409,707.21. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 46,548 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,671,389.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 92,497 shares of company stock worth $5,300,889. 11.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Navellier & Associates Inc increased its stake in Paychex by 25.0% in the first quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc now owns 23,893 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,407,000 after buying an additional 4,772 shares in the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its stake in Paychex by 1.2% in the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 154,379 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $9,093,000 after buying an additional 1,822 shares in the last quarter. Anderson Hoagland & Co. bought a new stake in Paychex during the first quarter valued at about $2,668,000. Bollard Group LLC increased its stake in Paychex by 13.8% in the first quarter. Bollard Group LLC now owns 51,356 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $3,025,000 after buying an additional 6,221 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Paychex by 0.9% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 162,717 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $9,584,000 after buying an additional 1,416 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.68% of the company’s stock.

Paychex Company Profile

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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