Great Lakes Advisors LLC decreased its stake in Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) by 1.0% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 18,869 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 187 shares during the period. Great Lakes Advisors LLC’s holdings in Paychex were worth $1,111,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in Paychex during the fourth quarter valued at $5,113,000. RFG Advisory Group LLC increased its stake in Paychex by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. RFG Advisory Group LLC now owns 9,181 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $524,000 after buying an additional 34 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its stake in Paychex by 13.8% in the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 34,455 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,098,000 after buying an additional 4,191 shares during the period. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI increased its stake in Paychex by 19.0% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 44,715 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,722,000 after buying an additional 7,153 shares during the period. Finally, Turner Investments LLC acquired a new stake in Paychex during the fourth quarter valued at $2,010,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 68.51% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX)

Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) opened at 61.10 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $21.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.77 and a beta of 0.96. Paychex, Inc. has a 1-year low of $52.78 and a 1-year high of $63.03. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $58.72 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.91.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, March 29th. The business services provider reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.01. Paychex had a return on equity of 42.04% and a net margin of 25.75%. The firm had revenue of $795.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $799.08 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.50 EPS. Paychex’s revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Paychex, Inc. will post $2.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, May 25th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 10th were paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.01%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, May 8th. Paychex’s payout ratio is 85.58%.

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Several analysts have recently weighed in on PAYX shares. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Paychex in a research report on Tuesday, March 21st. BMO Capital Markets decreased their target price on Paychex from $61.00 to $60.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 30th. Finally, Wedbush reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $61.25 target price (down from $65.00) on shares of Paychex in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Paychex currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $58.85.

In other Paychex news, Director Joseph M. Velli sold 9,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.29, for a total value of $524,610.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 30,624 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,785,072.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Mark Anthony Bottini sold 35,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.01, for a total value of $2,100,350.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 47,007 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,820,890.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 64,654 shares of company stock worth $3,827,829. 11.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Paychex Company Profile

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.

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