W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “W. R. Grace & Co. produces specialty chemicals. They primarily operate through the following two business segments: Davison Chemicals and Performance Chemicals. Davison Chemicals manufactures catalysts (fluid cracking, hydroprocessing and polyolein) and silica and zeolite absorbents. Performance Chemicals produces specialty construction and building materials, along with container and closure sealants. “

Several other analysts have also weighed in on GRA. BMO Capital Markets set a $83.00 price objective on W. R. Grace & Co and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 26th. UBS Group dropped their target price on W. R. Grace & Co from $93.00 to $92.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Robert W. Baird set a $81.00 target price on W. R. Grace & Co and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 26th. Wells Fargo & Co started coverage on W. R. Grace & Co in a research report on Tuesday, October 15th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $72.00 target price for the company. Finally, Monness Crespi & Hardt dropped their target price on W. R. Grace & Co from $85.00 to $80.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. W. R. Grace & Co currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $84.44.

NYSE:GRA opened at $67.16 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $66.76 and its 200 day simple moving average is $71.27. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.47 billion, a PE ratio of 16.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.27 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a quick ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 1.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.34. W. R. Grace & Co has a twelve month low of $59.22 and a twelve month high of $79.71.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $470.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $487.44 million. W. R. Grace & Co had a return on equity of 73.68% and a net margin of 11.34%. W. R. Grace & Co’s revenue was down 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.11 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that W. R. Grace & Co will post 4.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, major shareholder North Latitude Fund Lp 40 acquired 198,096 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 14th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $63.42 per share, for a total transaction of $12,563,248.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Force Andrew Hudson La III acquired 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 1st. The shares were bought at an average price of $69.04 per share, with a total value of $276,160.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 96,391 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,654,834.64. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired 498,970 shares of company stock valued at $32,047,464 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Riverhead Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co during the second quarter worth about $344,000. Tyers Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 551.9% during the second quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 14,056 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $1,070,000 after acquiring an additional 11,900 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co during the second quarter worth about $168,858,000. Tiverton Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 380.1% during the second quarter. Tiverton Asset Management LLC now owns 24,622 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $1,874,000 after acquiring an additional 19,493 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cerebellum GP LLC raised its position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 37.1% during the third quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC now owns 6,312 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $421,000 after acquiring an additional 1,709 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 86.52% of the company’s stock.

W. R. Grace & Co Company Profile

W. R. Grace & Co produces and sells specialty chemicals and materials worldwide. It operates through two segments, Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment offers fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts for the production of transportation fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuels, and petrochemicals; FCC additives; and methanol-to-olefins catalysts for the conversion of methanol into petrochemical feeds, including ethylene and propylene.

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