Welch & Forbes LLC Lowers Stake in Paychex, Inc. (PAYX)

Welch & Forbes LLC lowered its stake in shares of Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) by 1.5% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 602,816 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 9,398 shares during the period. Paychex accounts for 1.1% of Welch & Forbes LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 28th largest position. Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings in Paychex were worth $39,273,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of PAYX. We Are One Seven LLC bought a new stake in Paychex in the 4th quarter worth $25,000. Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA bought a new stake in Paychex in the 4th quarter worth $27,000. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Paychex by 142.1% in the 4th quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 644 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $42,000 after acquiring an additional 378 shares during the last quarter. Clean Yield Group bought a new stake in Paychex in the 4th quarter worth $70,000. Finally, Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC grew its holdings in Paychex by 129.0% in the 4th quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 1,145 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $75,000 after acquiring an additional 645 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.23% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ PAYX traded up $0.08 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $74.34. 28,968 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,947,675. Paychex, Inc. has a 52-week low of $59.36 and a 52-week high of $76.02. The stock has a market cap of $26.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.97 and a beta of 0.99.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, December 19th. The business services provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63 by $0.02. Paychex had a net margin of 27.99% and a return on equity of 41.61%. The company had revenue of $858.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $860.61 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.59 EPS. Paychex’s revenue was up 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts anticipate that Paychex, Inc. will post 2.86 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 15th. Investors of record on Friday, February 1st will be given a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 31st. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.01%. Paychex’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 87.84%.

A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on PAYX. Bank of America raised shares of Paychex from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $64.00 to $68.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Paychex in a research note on Thursday, December 20th. BidaskClub raised shares of Paychex from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 22nd. Finally, Barclays began coverage on shares of Paychex in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $70.00 target price on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Paychex currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.60.

In other Paychex news, VP Jennifer R. Vossler sold 6,000 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.37, for a total value of $416,220.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 27,701 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,921,618.37. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Jennifer R. Vossler sold 10,755 shares of Paychex stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.95, for a total transaction of $784,577.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 32,456 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,367,665.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 66,755 shares of company stock valued at $4,816,797. 11.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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About Paychex

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.

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Want to see what other hedge funds are holding PAYX? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX)

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