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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Thursday, January 18th.

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. “

GRA has been the topic of a number of other reports. Loop Capital began coverage on W. R. Grace & Co in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. They set a buy rating and a $81.00 target price on the stock. KeyCorp reiterated a buy rating and set a $77.00 target price on shares of W. R. Grace & Co in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating and set a $77.00 target price on shares of W. R. Grace & Co in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. W. R. Grace & Co currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $81.56.

Shares of W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) traded down $0.67 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $64.84. The company had a trading volume of 2,436,022 shares, compared to its average volume of 665,871. W. R. Grace & Co has a 52-week low of $62.58 and a 52-week high of $77.37. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,393.75, a price-to-earnings ratio of 405.25, a PEG ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.83, a current ratio of 1.59 and a quick ratio of 1.06.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.02. W. R. Grace & Co had a return on equity of 57.99% and a net margin of 0.65%. The firm had revenue of $459.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $453.84 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.95 earnings per share. W. R. Grace & Co’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that W. R. Grace & Co will post 3.72 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 22nd. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st will be issued a $0.24 dividend. This is an increase from W. R. Grace & Co’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.48%. W. R. Grace & Co’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 525.00%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. American International Group Inc. acquired a new stake in W. R. Grace & Co in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $113,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in W. R. Grace & Co by 3.0% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 394,182 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $27,644,000 after acquiring an additional 11,530 shares during the period. Capital Fund Management S.A. increased its position in W. R. Grace & Co by 980.3% in the 4th quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. now owns 171,803 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $12,049,000 after acquiring an additional 155,900 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its position in W. R. Grace & Co by 39.2% in the 4th quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 4,020 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $282,000 after acquiring an additional 1,133 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in W. R. Grace & Co by 6.0% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 157,704 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $11,060,000 after acquiring an additional 8,876 shares during the period. 84.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About W. R. Grace & Co

W. R. Grace & Co (Grace) is engaged in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and specialty materials. The Company operates in two segments: Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment includes catalysts and related products and technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications.

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