W.R. Grace & Co. (GRA) Short Interest Up 42.3% in October

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of October. As of October 13th, there was short interest totalling 2,525,212 shares, an increase of 42.3% from the September 29th total of 1,774,498 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 531,690 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.7 days. Approximately 3.7% of the shares of the company are sold short.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GRA. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its position in W.R. Grace & Co. by 68.9% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 3,477,805 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $250,437,000 after acquiring an additional 1,418,816 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of W.R. Grace & Co. by 25.2% during the 2nd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 2,232,160 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $160,738,000 after purchasing an additional 449,288 shares during the period. Alleghany Corp DE bought a new stake in shares of W.R. Grace & Co. during the 3rd quarter valued at $25,973,000. Taurus Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of W.R. Grace & Co. during the 2nd quarter valued at $8,010,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of W.R. Grace & Co. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,895,867 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $424,561,000 after purchasing an additional 98,017 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.73% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W.R. Grace & Co. from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $85.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of W.R. Grace & Co. in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. KeyCorp restated an “overweight” rating and set a $84.00 price objective (up previously from $77.00) on shares of W.R. Grace & Co. in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Loop Capital assumed coverage on shares of W.R. Grace & Co. in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $81.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective on shares of W.R. Grace & Co. in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. W.R. Grace & Co. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $81.36.

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) opened at $75.32 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.74, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a current ratio of 1.52. The stock has a market capitalization of $5,103.91, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.35, a P/E/G ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 1.20.

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.09. W.R. Grace & Co. had a net margin of 8.54% and a return on equity of 48.21%. The business had revenue of $429.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $411.50 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.80 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that W.R. Grace & Co. will post 3.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 7th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be given a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.12%. W.R. Grace & Co.’s payout ratio is presently 39.44%.

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About W.R. Grace & Co.

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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