Crawford Investment Counsel Inc. Sells 10,590 Shares of Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX)

Crawford Investment Counsel Inc. cut its holdings in shares of Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYXGet Rating) by 13.4% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 68,524 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 10,590 shares during the period. Crawford Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Paychex were worth $9,351,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Paychex by 0.6% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 30,565,936 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,171,334,000 after acquiring an additional 185,683 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Paychex by 0.8% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 29,343,942 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,004,568,000 after acquiring an additional 222,549 shares during the last quarter. Capital International Investors lifted its position in Paychex by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 14,916,781 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,036,137,000 after acquiring an additional 132,311 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in shares of Paychex by 4.2% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 13,889,507 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,895,918,000 after buying an additional 553,659 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of Paychex by 33.5% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 12,443,301 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,698,137,000 after buying an additional 3,122,688 shares during the last quarter. 71.80% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Insider Activity

In other news, VP Robert L. Schrader sold 783 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.00, for a total value of $90,045.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 8,199 shares in the company, valued at $942,885. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. In other news, VP Robert L. Schrader sold 783 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.00, for a total value of $90,045.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 8,199 shares in the company, valued at $942,885. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Efrain Rivera sold 3,875 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $116.80, for a total value of $452,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 85,743 shares in the company, valued at $10,014,782.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 90,837 shares of company stock worth $10,539,336. Corporate insiders own 11.50% of the company’s stock.

Paychex Trading Up 1.3 %

PAYX opened at $126.83 on Friday. Paychex, Inc. has a 52 week low of $106.55 and a 52 week high of $141.92. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $125.61 and a 200-day simple moving average of $125.30. The firm has a market cap of $45.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.03, a P/E/G ratio of 4.03 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a quick ratio of 1.25, a current ratio of 1.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYXGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, June 29th. The business services provider reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.02. Paychex had a return on equity of 43.65% and a net margin of 30.20%. The business had revenue of $1.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.11 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.72 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Paychex, Inc. will post 4.14 earnings per share for the current year.

Paychex Announces Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 25th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 11th were given a dividend of $0.79 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 10th. This represents a $3.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.49%. Paychex’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.29%.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

PAYX has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Paychex from $140.00 to $130.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Cowen cut their price objective on shares of Paychex from $140.00 to $135.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Bank of America cut their price objective on shares of Paychex from $138.00 to $124.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. Citigroup cut their price objective on shares of Paychex from $145.00 to $125.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut their price objective on shares of Paychex from $145.00 to $123.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $130.75.

Paychex Profile

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Paychex, Inc provides integrated human capital management solutions for human resources (HR), payroll, benefits, and insurance services for small to medium-sized businesses in the United States, Europe, and India. It 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX)

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