W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) Raised to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “W. R. Grace & Co. produces specialty chemicals. They primarily operate through the following two business segments: Davison Chemicals and Performance Chemicals. Davison Chemicals manufactures catalysts (fluid cracking, hydroprocessing and polyolein) and silica and zeolite absorbents. Performance Chemicals produces specialty construction and building materials, along with container and closure sealants. “

Other analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Wells Fargo & Co assumed coverage on shares of W. R. Grace & Co in a report on Tuesday, October 15th. They issued a market perform rating and a $72.00 price objective on the stock. UBS Group lowered their target price on shares of W. R. Grace & Co from $93.00 to $92.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Loop Capital dropped their price target on shares of W. R. Grace & Co from $92.00 to $89.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 3rd. ValuEngine downgraded shares of W. R. Grace & Co from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Thursday, November 28th. Finally, Monness Crespi & Hardt decreased their price objective on shares of W. R. Grace & Co from $85.00 to $80.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $84.30.

GRA stock opened at $65.97 on Wednesday. W. R. Grace & Co has a 52-week low of $59.22 and a 52-week high of $79.71. The company has a quick ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 1.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.34. The stock has a market cap of $4.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 0.95. The business has a fifty day moving average of $67.16 and a two-hundred day moving average of $69.70.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 24th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $470.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $487.44 million. W. R. Grace & Co had a return on equity of 73.68% and a net margin of 11.34%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.11 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that W. R. Grace & Co will post 4.34 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 14th were issued a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 13th. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.64%. W. R. Grace & Co’s dividend payout ratio is presently 26.09%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Riverhead Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in W. R. Grace & Co in the 2nd quarter valued at about $344,000. Icon Advisers Inc. Co. lifted its position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 7.1% during the third quarter. Icon Advisers Inc. Co. now owns 83,400 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $5,568,000 after purchasing an additional 5,500 shares in the last quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 624.2% in the third quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 604,650 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $40,366,000 after purchasing an additional 521,161 shares during the period. Tyers Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 551.9% in the second quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 14,056 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,070,000 after purchasing an additional 11,900 shares during the period. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co in the second quarter valued at approximately $168,858,000. 85.29% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About W. R. Grace & Co

W. R. Grace & Co produces and sells specialty chemicals and materials worldwide. It operates through two segments, Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment offers fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts for the production of transportation fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuels, and petrochemicals; FCC additives; and methanol-to-olefins catalysts for the conversion of methanol into petrochemical feeds, including ethylene and propylene.

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