U.S. Silica (SLCA) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Strong-Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning. They currently have $38.00 price objective on the mining company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “U.S. Silica is well placed to gain from its expansion initiatives in the fast-growing Permian Basin. It also remains focused on pursuing earnings-accretive acquisitions. The Sandbox acquisition is driving sales and margins in the company’s oil and gas business and is expected to make a meaningful contribution in 2017. U.S. Silica is also focusing on preserving capital, reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction and boosting its market position. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a buy rating and issued a $36.00 price target on shares of U.S. Silica in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Jefferies Group set a $40.00 price target on U.S. Silica and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, August 28th. BidaskClub upgraded U.S. Silica from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, September 2nd. ValuEngine cut U.S. Silica from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group decreased their price target on U.S. Silica from $43.00 to $40.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, eighteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $48.05.

U.S. Silica (SLCA) traded up $0.19 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $34.11. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,964,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,500,914. The stock has a market cap of $2,755.26, a PE ratio of 37.28 and a beta of 2.32. U.S. Silica has a 52-week low of $24.26 and a 52-week high of $61.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 3.26 and a current ratio of 3.67.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The mining company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $345.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $328.91 million. U.S. Silica had a return on equity of 5.73% and a net margin of 6.24%. U.S. Silica’s quarterly revenue was up 150.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned ($0.13) EPS. equities analysts anticipate that U.S. Silica will post 1.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

U.S. Silica declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Monday, November 6th that allows the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the mining company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be given a $0.063 dividend. This represents a $0.25 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.74%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. U.S. Silica’s payout ratio is 31.25%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 35.4% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,663,238 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $94,554,000 after acquiring an additional 696,893 shares in the last quarter. SG Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of U.S. Silica during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $19,881,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 178.7% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 960,863 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $34,101,000 after acquiring an additional 616,051 shares in the last quarter. Ninepoint Partners LP acquired a new stake in shares of U.S. Silica during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $18,642,000. Finally, Rice Hall James & Associates LLC acquired a new stake in shares of U.S. Silica during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $16,279,000.

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About U.S. Silica

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc is a domestic producer of commercial silica, a specialized mineral that is an input into a range of end markets. The Company operates in two segments: Oil & Gas Proppants, and Industrial & Specialty Products. In the Oil & Gas Proppants segment, it serves the oil and gas recovery market providing fracturing sand, or frac sand, which is pumped down oil and natural gas wells to prop open rock fissures and manage the flow rate of natural gas and oil from the wells.

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