Short Interest in Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) Rises By 9.5%

Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 11,422,600 shares, an increase of 9.5% from the June 30th total of 10,431,500 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,970,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.8 days. Approximately 3.6% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Paychex from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and cut their target price for the company from $77.00 to $74.00 in a report on Thursday. BidaskClub raised shares of Paychex from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Sanford C. Bernstein lowered shares of Paychex from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. William Blair reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Paychex in a report on Thursday, June 27th. Finally, Bank of America lowered shares of Paychex from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $76.09.

In other news, VP Robert L. Schrader sold 609 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.88, for a total transaction of $51,082.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 9,166 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $768,844.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Efrain Rivera sold 476 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.72, for a total transaction of $40,802.72. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 62,192 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,331,098.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 55,996 shares of company stock valued at $4,763,436. Insiders own 11.80% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PAYX. Ronna Sue Cohen grew its holdings in shares of Paychex by 7,736.0% during the first quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 4,003,822 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $4,004,000 after buying an additional 3,952,727 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Paychex by 12.3% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,465,698 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,523,549,000 after buying an additional 3,435,500 shares in the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Paychex by 15,792.4% during the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,299,048 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $106,899,000 after buying an additional 1,290,874 shares in the last quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co grew its holdings in shares of Paychex by 6,076.7% during the first quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co now owns 1,222,308 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $51,110,000 after buying an additional 1,202,519 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in shares of Paychex by 11.0% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 9,305,194 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $765,725,000 after buying an additional 919,406 shares in the last quarter. 69.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NASDAQ PAYX traded up $1.38 on Friday, hitting $81.47. The company had a trading volume of 1,715,774 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,912,388. The company has a market capitalization of $29.28 billion, a PE ratio of 28.69, a PEG ratio of 3.02 and a beta of 0.86. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $84.29 and its 200-day moving average price is $82.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, a current ratio of 1.17 and a quick ratio of 1.17. Paychex has a 12-month low of $61.32 and a 12-month high of $88.43.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, June 26th. The business services provider reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.65 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $980.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $978.94 million. Paychex had a return on equity of 40.99% and a net margin of 27.42%. Paychex’s revenue was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.61 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Paychex will post 3.09 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 22nd. Investors of record on Thursday, August 1st will be issued a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 31st. Paychex’s payout ratio is presently 87.32%.

Paychex Company Profile

Paychex, Inc provides payroll, human resource (HR), retirement, 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.

Further Reading: What causes a yield curve to invert?

Receive News & Ratings for Paychex Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Paychex and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.