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Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) had its price target raised by equities research analysts at Smith Barney Citigroup from $93.00 to $105.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, The Fly reports. Smith Barney Citigroup’s target price indicates a potential upside of 16.99% from the company’s current price.

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Wells Fargo & Company began coverage on Paychex in a research note on Friday, December 18th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $105.00 price objective on the stock. BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Paychex from $82.00 to $93.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 24th. Argus increased their target price on Paychex from $92.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday. Barclays increased their target price on Paychex from $73.00 to $83.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 12th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Paychex from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, December 28th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Paychex presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $86.65.

PAYX traded down $0.61 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $89.75. 27,854 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,103,130. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $93.46 and a 200-day simple moving average of $81.61. Paychex has a 12 month low of $47.87 and a 12 month high of $99.95. The stock has a market cap of $32.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 1.25 and a quick ratio of 1.25.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, December 22nd. The business services provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.07. Paychex had a return on equity of 38.70% and a net margin of 26.26%. The firm had revenue of $983.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $956.30 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.70 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .7% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Paychex will post 2.82 EPS for the current year.

In related news, VP Robert L. Schrader sold 3,559 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.93, for a total transaction of $337,855.87. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 8,871 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $842,124.03. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Stephanie L. Schaeffer sold 63,000 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.94, for a total value of $5,162,220.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 127,162 shares in the company, valued at $10,419,654.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 560,479 shares of company stock worth $48,448,737 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 11.70% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. boosted its holdings in Paychex by 252.3% during the third quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 33,423 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,666,000 after buying an additional 23,935 shares in the last quarter. RFG Advisory LLC increased its position in shares of Paychex by 7.2% during the third quarter. RFG Advisory LLC now owns 7,744 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $618,000 after acquiring an additional 522 shares in the last quarter. Arden Trust Co increased its position in shares of Paychex by 30.4% during the third quarter. Arden Trust Co now owns 3,931 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $314,000 after acquiring an additional 916 shares in the last quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Paychex during the second quarter valued at approximately $240,000. Finally, KBC Group NV increased its position in shares of Paychex by 184.8% during the third quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 94,103 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $7,507,000 after acquiring an additional 61,063 shares in the last quarter. 69.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Paychex Company Profile

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 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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