For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – March 5, 2010 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Moody’s Corp (MCO - Analyst Report), Thomson-Reuters Corp. (TRI - Snapshot Report), RiskMetrics Group Inc. , Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (DNB - Analyst Report) and Interactive Data Corporation .
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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:
Raising Price Target for Moody’s
Moody’s Corp (MCO - Analyst Report) is an industry leader in credit ratings. We maintain our Neutral rating on Moody’s but raise our price target to $29.00 from our previous target of $25.00 on better-than-expected results.
Results for 2009, although below year-ago levels, were better than the Zacks Consensus Estimates, reflecting an improvement in credit markets, continuing strength in corporate debt issuance and growth in Moody’s Analytics business.
We believe that Moody’s remains a solid franchise in rating debt instruments and will show substantial growth with its diversified credit research business model and international growth.
However, the company provided a conservative outlook for 2010 on rising operating expenses. Although we believe that over the longer-term Moody’s will show substantial growth, we maintain a cautious approach as margins may come under pressure due to incremental costs related to regulatory issues in 2010.
Although the economy is showing signs of revival, we expect a slow recovery in debt markets as they face a tempered credit environment. Moreover, we don’t expect a major improvement in the Structured Finance business. While management expects Structured Finance revenue to increase in the mid-single-digit percent range in 2010 reflecting modest growth in most asset classes, we note that investor confidence remains limited for the near-term.
Moody’s competitors are mostly privately held, such as Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's. The company also competes against several diversified companies, such as Thomson-Reuters Corp. (TRI - Snapshot Report), Bloomberg, RiskMetrics Group Inc. , Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (DNB - Analyst Report), Markit Group, Interactive Data Corporation and many other smaller providers.
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