W. R. Grace & Co (GRA) Cut 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 note issued to investors on Thursday.

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 brokerages also recently commented on GRA. Robert W. Baird raised shares of W. R. Grace & Co from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $76.00 to $85.00 in a research note on Tuesday, February 7th. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $82.00 target price on shares of W. R. Grace & Co and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 8th. Finally, Aegis initiated coverage on shares of W. R. Grace & Co in a research note on Thursday, January 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $79.00 target price on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $81.22.

Analyst Recommendations for W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA)

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) traded up 0.83% during trading on Thursday, reaching $69.15. 613,772 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $4.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 51.72 and a beta of 1.15. W. R. Grace & Co has a one year low of $63.37 and a one year high of $80.56. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $69.23 and its 200 day moving average is $69.14.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $440.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $437.05 million. W. R. Grace & Co had a net margin of 5.40% and a return on equity of 37.23%. The business’s revenue was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.72 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that W. R. Grace & Co will post $3.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 23rd. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 1st were issued a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, February 27th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.21%. This is a boost from W. R. Grace & Co’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. W. R. Grace & Co’s payout ratio is 55.28%.

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In other news, Chairman Alfred E. Festa sold 80,560 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.49, for a total transaction of $5,759,234.40. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 321,790 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,004,767.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP William C. Dockman sold 6,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.88, for a total transaction of $431,280.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 7,160 shares in the company, valued at approximately $514,660.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Hsbc Holdings PLC boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 0.8% in the third quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC now owns 10,151 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $749,000 after buying an additional 79 shares during the period. Profund Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 1.4% in the third quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 7,304 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $539,000 after buying an additional 99 shares during the period. CIBC Asset Management Inc boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 2.0% in the third quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 8,157 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $602,000 after buying an additional 160 shares during the period. Janus Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 6,100 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $413,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 7.3% in the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 7,959 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $587,000 after buying an additional 544 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.59% of the company’s stock.

W. R. Grace & Co Company Profile

W. R. Grace & Co (Grace) is engaged in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and specialty materials. The Company operates in two segments: Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment includes catalysts and related products and technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications.

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