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Moody's (MCO) Closes Buyout of Cortera, Boosts MA Division

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Moody’s (MCO - Free Report) has concluded the acquisition of Cortera, one of the leading providers of North American credit data and workflow solutions. The deal, announced in February, was funded with cash in hand, and is not likely to have material impact on the company’s 2021 results.

Cortera, which is getting integrated into the Moody's Analytics division’s Research, Data & Analytics line of business, collects data from various sources and then enhances it through artificial intelligence. It then provides analytics, reports and monitoring services to help businesses make informed decisions about their counterparties.

The deal boosts Moody’s extensive Orbis database of private company information and enhances know-your-customer, commercial lending and supply-chain solutions. Further, Moody’s will be in a position to extend coverage in the small and medium enterprise segment.

At the announcement of the transaction, Stephen Tulenko, president of Moody’s MA division, had said, “Cortera plays an important role in helping businesses understand each other. Our customers will be able to leverage Cortera’s extensive information on small businesses with Moody’s proprietary analytic tools to make better decisions.”

Moreover, CEO of Cortera, Jim Swift, had stated, “Combining Moody’s capabilities with Cortera’s robust data and analytics on US private companies will provide customers with deeper insights. This deal will greatly enhance our reach and capabilities and enable us to meet evolving customer needs.”

Conclusion

Over the years, Moody’s has grown substantially through opportunistic acquisitions, which has provided it with increased scale and cross-selling opportunities across products and vertical markets. Earlier in January, it acquired Catylist Inc., which complements Moody’s buyout of Reis Inc. in 2018 and will strengthen the MA segment’s CRE platform.

These, along with other strategic buyouts over the past years, are expected to help the company diversify revenues and be accretive to earnings. Moody's will continue pursuing opportunistic deals that are strategic fits and will complement its existing operations.

Shares of Moody’s have gained 5.1% over the past six months, outperforming the industry’s rally of 4.1%.



Currently, Moody’s carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Finance Stocks Taking Similar Efforts

Since the beginning of 2021, many finance stocks have undertaken strategic expansion efforts through acquisitions amid tough operating backdrop owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these are KeyCorp (KEY - Free Report) and M&T Bank (MTB - Free Report) .

Earlier this month, KeyCorp acquired data analytics-driven consultancy firm, AQN Strategies LLC. The acquisition is part of the company’s initiatives to employ data-driven approaches, which will help it in expanding its customer reach.

Last month, M&T Bank agreed to acquire People’s United Financial Inc. (PBCT - Free Report) in an all-stock merger deal worth $7.6 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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