Moody's Corp (
reached a new 52-week high of $69.70 on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.
The bullish run reflects Moody's impressive first quarter results
and an upbeat guidance.
The closing price of Moody's on May 22 was $66.98,
representing a strong one-year return of about 83.1% and a
year-to-date return of about 29.4%. The S&P 500 jumped 25.3%
and 13.2%, respectively during the same period. Average volume of
shares traded over the last three months stands at approximately
Moody's delivered a positive earnings surprise of 10.7% over
the past four quarters. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has a
market cap of $15.28 billion and a long-term expected earnings
growth rate of 13.9%.
Impressive First Quarter, Positive Guidance
Moody's reported first quarter earnings of 97 cents per share
that were well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 87 cents.
However, including litigation expenses of 14 cents, earnings were
83 cents per share, which jumped 9.0% from the year-ago
Revenues surged 13.0% year over year to $731.8 million and
exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $718.0 million. Domestic
revenues soared 18.0% year over year to $406.1 million in the
reported quarter. International revenues increased 8.0% year over
year to $325.7 million in the quarter.
Moody's expects 2013 revenues to grow in the high single-digit
percent range. Operating expenses are projected to increase in
the mid-single digit percent range. Operating margin is projected
to be between 41% and 42%. Earnings for 2013 are expected to be
in the range of $3.49 to $3.59 per share.
Key Growth Catalysts
We believe that Moody's remains a solid franchise in rating
debt instruments based on its diversified credit research
business model and international growth opportunities. Moreover,
strength in new domestic debt issuance and improving clarity over
regulatory climate in Europe are positives. Additionally,
aggressive share buyback will fuel further earnings growth going
The Zacks Consensus Estimate has remained steady at 89 cents
over the past 30 days. For fiscal 2013, the earnings estimate has
jumped 2.0% (7 cents) to $3.58 cents per share over the past 30
days. For fiscal 2014, the earnings estimate has jumped 1.6% (6
cents) to $3.89 cents per share over the same period.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other stocks that are worth considering include
FleetCor Technologies (
McGraw Hill Financials (
Euronet Worldwide (
. Currently, FleetCor has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while
both McGraw Hill and Euronet carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
EURONET WORLDWD (EEFT): Free Stock Analysis
FLEETCOR TECH (FLT): Free Stock Analysis
MOODYS CORP (MCO): Free Stock Analysis Report
MCGRAW HILL FIN (MHFI): Free Stock Analysis
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