Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) Rating Increased to Buy at Citigroup

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) was upgraded by research analysts at Citigroup from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The brokerage presently has a $97.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock, up from their prior price target of $84.00. Citigroup‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 10.54% from the company’s previous close.

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on PAYX. BidaskClub cut Paychex from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, December 27th. ValuEngine cut Paychex from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Barclays increased their price target on Paychex from $80.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, October 7th. Robert W. Baird increased their price target on Paychex from $83.00 to $87.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, December 19th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $84.00 price target on shares of Paychex in a report on Wednesday, December 18th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.50.

PAYX stock traded up $0.38 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $87.76. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 201,395 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,320,313. The company has a market cap of $31.01 billion, a PE ratio of 30.90, a P/E/G ratio of 3.98 and a beta of 0.87. Paychex has a 12 month low of $67.97 and a 12 month high of $88.43. The company has a current ratio of 1.17, a quick ratio of 1.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $85.20 and its 200-day moving average is $83.92.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, December 18th. The business services provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $990.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $988.26 million. Paychex had a return on equity of 41.21% and a net margin of 26.72%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.65 EPS. Analysts expect that Paychex will post 3.11 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director David J. S. Flaschen sold 13,052 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.50, for a total value of $1,102,894.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 43,564 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,681,158. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Michael E. Gioja sold 50,088 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.74, for a total value of $4,294,545.12. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 70,023 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,003,772.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 81,021 shares of company stock valued at $6,931,808 over the last 90 days. 11.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Quantum Capital Management purchased a new stake in Paychex in the 3rd quarter worth $26,000. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Paychex by 91.9% during the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 330 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $27,000 after purchasing an additional 158 shares during the last quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Paychex during the 3rd quarter valued at about $27,000. Benjamin Edwards Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Paychex by 58.2% during the 3rd quarter. Benjamin Edwards Inc. now owns 348 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $29,000 after purchasing an additional 128 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Paychex during the 2nd quarter valued at about $32,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.31% of the company’s stock.

About Paychex

Paychex, Inc provides payroll, human resource (HR), retirement, and insurance services for small to medium-sized businesses in the United States and Europe. The company offers payroll processing services; payroll tax administration services; employee payment services; and regulatory compliance services, such as new-hire reporting and garnishment processing.

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