Schroder Investment Management Group decreased its position in shares of Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) by 5.8% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 103,694 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 6,400 shares during the quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group owned approximately 0.16% of Mercer International worth $1,604,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Mason Street Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Mercer International during the 1st quarter valued at $187,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new position in Mercer International during the 1st quarter worth about $227,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Mercer International during the 1st quarter worth about $240,000. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC lifted its holdings in Mercer International by 81.4% during the 1st quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 23,124 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $312,000 after buying an additional 10,375 shares during the period. Finally, Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC lifted its holdings in Mercer International by 77.8% during the 1st quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC now owns 26,735 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $361,000 after buying an additional 11,695 shares during the period. 80.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several research analysts have commented on the company. BidaskClub raised Mercer International from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 30th. CIBC downgraded Mercer International from a “sector outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 5th. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded Mercer International from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $20.00 to $14.00 in a report on Monday, August 5th. TD Securities cut their target price on Mercer International from $17.00 to $16.50 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 6th. Finally, Raymond James reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $22.00 target price on shares of Mercer International in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Mercer International has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $17.50.
Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.16 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by ($0.18). The company had revenue of $425.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $484.77 million. Mercer International had a return on equity of 24.49% and a net margin of 8.96%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 22.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.26 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Mercer International Inc. will post 1.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 25th will be paid a $0.275 dividend. This represents a $1.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.96%. This is an increase from Mercer International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 24th. Mercer International’s payout ratio is currently 28.06%.
In other Mercer International news, Director Martha A. M. Morfitt acquired 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 23rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $11.00 per share, with a total value of $110,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 3.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Mercer International Company Profile
Mercer International Inc, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells northern bleached softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Pulp and Wood Products. It produces NBSK pulp primarily from wood chips and pulp logs; carbon neutral or green energy using carbon-neutral bio-fuels, such as black liquor and wood waste; and tall oil for use as a chemical additive and green energy source.
Further Reading: Why investors pay attention to retained earnings
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