Short Interest in U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) Declines By 11.2%

U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) saw a large decline in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 14,174,700 shares, a decline of 11.2% from the June 30th total of 15,970,400 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,890,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 7.5 days. Currently, 20.6% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Shares of SLCA stock traded down $0.20 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $11.88. 966,656 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,530,357. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $12.13. U.S. Silica has a 1-year low of $9.30 and a 1-year high of $23.91. The company has a current ratio of 1.79, a quick ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33. The stock has a market cap of $868.98 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.52, a PEG ratio of 5.20 and a beta of 2.60.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The mining company reported $0.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.05) by $0.19. U.S. Silica had a negative net margin of 16.92% and a positive return on equity of 6.49%. The company had revenue of $394.85 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $396.72 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.64 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts expect that U.S. Silica will post 0.18 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be given a dividend of $0.063 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 12th. This represents a $0.25 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.12%. U.S. Silica’s payout ratio is 15.82%.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Citigroup set a $14.00 price objective on U.S. Silica and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Cowen reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $20.00 price objective (down previously from $22.00) on shares of U.S. Silica in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on U.S. Silica from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, July 12th. Bank of America set a $15.00 price objective on U.S. Silica and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, ValuEngine raised U.S. Silica from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $21.50.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SLCA. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 31.6% during the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 3,283 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $33,000 after purchasing an additional 788 shares during the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 146.2% during the 1st quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,455 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 864 shares during the last quarter. Chilton Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 8.9% during the 2nd quarter. Chilton Capital Management LLC now owns 12,276 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $157,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. CoreCommodity Management LLC raised its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 5.6% during the 2nd quarter. CoreCommodity Management LLC now owns 19,355 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $248,000 after purchasing an additional 1,031 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System raised its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 114,096 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $1,459,000 after purchasing an additional 1,248 shares during the last quarter.

About U.S. Silica

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc produces and sells commercial silica in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Oil & Gas Proppants and Industrial & Specialty Products. It offers whole grain commercial silica products to be used as fracturing sand in connection with oil and natural gas recovery, as well as sells its whole grain silica products in various size distributions, grain shapes, and chemical purity levels for manufacturing glass products.

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