Shares of Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) have been given an average recommendation of “Buy” by the seven analysts that are currently covering the firm. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, two have given a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average twelve-month price target among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $15.40.
MERC has been the topic of several research reports. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $12.00 price objective on shares of Mercer International in a report on Tuesday, March 14th. Standpoint Research downgraded shares of Mercer International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, January 23rd. TD Securities restated a “hold” rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of Mercer International in a research note on Monday. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $18.00 price objective on shares of Mercer International in a research note on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Mercer International from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $14.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 26th.
Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) opened at 11.15 on Friday. Mercer International has a one year low of $7.03 and a one year high of $12.98. The stock has a market cap of $724.45 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.27 and a beta of 1.43. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $11.67 and its 200 day moving average price is $10.78.
Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The basic materials company reported $0.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.03. Mercer International had a return on equity of 8.34% and a net margin of 3.75%. The firm had revenue of $242.78 million for the quarter. Equities analysts forecast that Mercer International will post $1.10 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 27th will be given a $0.115 dividend. This represents a $0.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.13%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 23rd. Mercer International’s payout ratio is currently 86.79%.
In other Mercer International news, major shareholder Peter R. Kellogg bought 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 13th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $11.50 per share, for a total transaction of $172,500.00. Following the purchase, the insider now directly owns 2,788,916 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $32,072,534. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Eric Lauritzen sold 6,000 shares of Mercer International stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.71, for a total value of $70,260.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 86,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,007,060. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 4.70% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MERC. MAI Capital Management bought a new position in Mercer International during the third quarter worth $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 during the last quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH raised its position in Mercer International by 48.7% in the third quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH now owns 46,335 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $366,000 after buying an additional 15,165 shares during the last quarter. 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 during the last quarter. Finally, 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 during the last quarter. 81.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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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