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 issued 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. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on GRA. ValuEngine cut shares of W. R. Grace & Co from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, July 27th. BMO Capital Markets set a $83.00 price target on shares of W. R. Grace & Co and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 26th. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $81.00 price target on shares of W. R. Grace & Co and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $85.50.

Shares of NYSE:GRA opened at $64.78 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $4.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.65, a P/E/G ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.02. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $72.96 and a 200 day moving average price of $74.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.06, a current ratio of 1.48 and a quick ratio of 1.01. W. R. Grace & Co has a 1-year low of $59.22 and a 1-year high of $79.71.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $513.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $508.65 million. W. R. Grace & Co had a net margin of 9.31% and a return on equity of 85.42%. W. R. Grace & Co’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.07 EPS. Sell-side analysts expect that W. R. Grace & Co will post 4.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 5th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 15th will be paid a $0.27 dividend. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.67%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 14th. W. R. Grace & Co’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.09%.

In other news, major shareholder North Latitude Fund Lp 40 bought 198,096 shares of W. R. Grace & Co stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 14th. The stock was bought at an average price of $63.42 per share, for a total transaction of $12,563,248.32. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Force Andrew Hudson La III bought 4,000 shares of W. R. Grace & Co stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 1st. The stock was purchased at an average price of $69.04 per share, with a total value of $276,160.00. Following the purchase, the insider now directly owns 96,391 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,654,834.64. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought a total of 227,799 shares of company stock valued at $14,511,090 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Private Capital Group LLC increased its holdings in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 24.9% in the 1st quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 1,249 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $97,000 after purchasing an additional 249 shares in the last quarter. Huntington National Bank purchased a new position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co in the 1st quarter valued at about $26,000. Harvest Group Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co in the 1st quarter valued at about $27,000. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its holdings in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 82,524 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $6,281,000 after purchasing an additional 394 shares in the last quarter. Finally, YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co in the 1st quarter valued at about $49,000. Institutional investors own 85.84% of the company’s stock.

W. R. Grace & Co Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA)

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