Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) has received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the six research firms that are covering the stock. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $12.33.
Several equities research analysts have commented on MERC shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Mercer International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 29th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered shares of Mercer International from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $10.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Friday, January 6th. Finally, Standpoint Research lowered shares of Mercer International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, January 23rd.
Shares of Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) traded up 0.43% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $11.75. The stock had a trading volume of 110,754 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $11.59 and a 200 day moving average price of $10.52. Mercer International has a 52-week low of $7.03 and a 52-week high of $12.98. The firm has a market cap of $759.70 million, a PE ratio of 21.76 and a beta of 1.43.
Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 9th. The basic materials company reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $221.69 million for the quarter. Mercer International had a net margin of 3.75% and a return on equity of 8.34%. Equities analysts predict that Mercer International will post $0.97 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 4th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 28th were paid a $0.115 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 24th. This represents a $0.46 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.93%. Mercer International’s payout ratio is currently 86.79%.
In other news, major shareholder Peter R. Kellogg purchased 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 13th. The shares were bought at an average price of $11.50 per share, for a total transaction of $172,500.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now owns 2,788,916 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $32,072,534. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 4.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt raised its position in Mercer International by 75.6% in the third quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt now owns 7,900 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $370,000 after buying an additional 3,400 shares in the last quarter. MAI Capital Management bought a new position in Mercer International during the third quarter worth approximately $104,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its position in Mercer International by 0.8% in the third quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 12,998 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 98 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Group LLC raised its position in Mercer International by 10.1% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Group LLC now owns 34,732 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $370,000 after buying an additional 3,178 shares in the last quarter. Finally, O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC raised its position in Mercer International by 45.7% in the fourth quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC now owns 42,402 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $452,000 after buying an additional 13,307 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.58% of the company’s stock.
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Mercer International Company Profile
Mercer International Inc is a producer of northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp, which is pulp that is sold on the open market. The Company also produces and sells tall oil, a by-product of its production process, which is used as both a chemical additive and as a green energy source. It produces and sells NBSK pulp, which is a bleached kraft pulp manufactured using northern softwood.
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