Principal Financial Group Inc. Sells 27,617 Shares of Paychex, Inc. (PAYX)

Principal Financial Group Inc. lessened its stake in shares of Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) by 5.2% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 505,790 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 27,617 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned 0.14% of Paychex worth $28,799,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC boosted its stake in shares of Paychex by 16.5% in the second quarter. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC now owns 7,668 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $437,000 after acquiring an additional 1,088 shares during the period. Capital Analysts LLC boosted its stake in shares of Paychex by 2.4% in the second quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 17,117 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $975,000 after acquiring an additional 399 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in shares of Paychex by 33.2% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 70,932 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $4,039,000 after acquiring an additional 17,672 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Paychex by 98.9% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 20,239 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,152,000 after acquiring an additional 10,065 shares during the period. Finally, Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund boosted its stake in shares of Paychex by 16.4% in the second quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 76,357 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $4,348,000 after acquiring an additional 10,740 shares during the period. 67.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In related news, CEO Martin Mucci sold 33,294 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction dated Sunday, July 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.40, for a total value of $1,911,075.60. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 254,618 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,615,073.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Michael E. Gioja sold 7,343 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.40, for a total value of $421,488.20. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 55,632 shares in the company, valued at $3,193,276.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 92,497 shares of company stock worth $5,300,889. 11.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

PAYX has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Morgan Stanley raised Paychex from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $55.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $61.00 price objective on shares of Paychex in a research note on Friday, August 18th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of Paychex in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. William Blair lowered Paychex from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) lowered Paychex from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $68.00 to $64.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Paychex currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $59.28.

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Shares of Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) opened at 56.90 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.29 and a beta of 0.96. Paychex, Inc. has a 52-week low of $52.78 and a 52-week high of $63.03. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $56.39 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.56.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 28th. The business services provider reported $0.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.01. Paychex had a return on equity of 42.48% and a net margin of 25.93%. The company had revenue of $799 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $797.70 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.49 EPS. Paychex’s revenue was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Paychex, Inc. will post $2.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 24th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 1st were issued a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.51%. This is a boost from Paychex’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 28th. Paychex’s payout ratio is presently 88.50%.

About Paychex

Paychex, Inc is a provider of integrated human capital management (HCM) solutions for payroll, human resource (HR), retirement and insurance services for small- to medium-sized businesses in the United States. The Company also has operations in Germany. The Company offers services, including Payroll processing, Human Resource Services, and Accounting and Financial Services.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX)

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