Morningstar (MORN) Raised to Strong-Buy at BidaskClub

BidaskClub upgraded shares of Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

Shares of Morningstar (MORN) opened at $96.49 on Wednesday. Morningstar has a twelve month low of $68.43 and a twelve month high of $99.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,110.00, a PE ratio of 24.74 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a current ratio of 1.69, a quick ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26.

Morningstar announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Friday, December 8th that authorizes the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the business services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Investors of record on Friday, January 5th will be issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.04%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 4th. This is a positive change from Morningstar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. Morningstar’s dividend payout ratio is presently 25.64%.

In other Morningstar news, Director Steven N. Kaplan sold 2,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.91, for a total transaction of $242,275.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 42,021 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,072,255.11. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Gail S. Landis sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.00, for a total value of $43,500.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 47,921 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,169,127. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 25,500 shares of company stock worth $2,224,600 in the last quarter. 57.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its position in Morningstar by 0.8% during the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 209,169 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $17,777,000 after buying an additional 1,726 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its position in Morningstar by 31.8% during the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 13,362 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,136,000 after buying an additional 3,225 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in Morningstar by 3.5% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 49,571 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $4,213,000 after buying an additional 1,671 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new position in Morningstar during the third quarter worth approximately $454,000. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp acquired a new position in Morningstar during the third quarter worth approximately $280,000. 38.65% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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