Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Green Plains (GPRE) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Green Plains Inc. is vertically integrated producer, marketer and distributer of ethanol. The company operates through four segments: Ethanol Production, Corn Oil Production, Agribusiness, and Marketing and Distribution. It produces ethanol and co-products, such as wet, modified wet or dried distillers grains, as well as extracts non-edible corn oil. The company is also involved in buying and selling bulk grain primarily corn and soybeans. Green Plains Inc., formerly known as Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc., is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. “

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Green Plains from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a buy rating and issued a $27.00 target price on shares of Green Plains in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Green Plains from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets restated an outperform rating and issued a $25.00 target price (down previously from $30.00) on shares of Green Plains in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Roth Capital set a $25.00 target price on shares of Green Plains and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Green Plains currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $26.67.

Shares of Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) opened at $17.75 on Thursday. Green Plains has a 52 week low of $15.60 and a 52 week high of $26.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a current ratio of 1.36. The firm has a market cap of $730.63, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.98 and a beta of 1.55.

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported ($0.16) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.17) by $0.01. Green Plains had a net margin of 1.70% and a negative return on equity of 3.33%. The firm had revenue of $920.98 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $953.30 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.47 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Green Plains will post 0.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be paid a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.70%. Green Plains’s dividend payout ratio is presently 39.02%.

In related news, EVP Walter S. Cronin sold 6,737 shares of Green Plains stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.80, for a total value of $113,181.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $843,360. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Wayne Hoovestol purchased 102,653 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $16.37 per share, with a total value of $1,680,429.61. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 218,277 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,573,194.49. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased 127,136 shares of company stock valued at $2,087,178 over the last ninety days. 6.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its holdings in shares of Green Plains by 1.4% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 7,612 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $156,000 after buying an additional 104 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Green Plains by 28.6% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 10,599 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $218,000 after buying an additional 2,360 shares during the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas bought a new position in shares of Green Plains in the fourth quarter valued at about $228,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new position in shares of Green Plains in the third quarter valued at about $329,000. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Green Plains by 2.3% in the second quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 16,423 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $337,000 after buying an additional 370 shares during the last quarter.

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About Green Plains

Green Plains Inc is an ethanol producer. The Company owns and operates assets throughout the ethanol value chain, including upstream, with grain handling and storage through its ethanol production facilities, and downstream, with marketing and distribution services. It operates through four segments: Ethanol Production, Agribusiness and Energy Services, Food and Food Ingredients, and Partnership.

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