Mercer International Inc. (MERC) Short Interest Up 1,555.6% in January

Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,921,323 shares, an increase of 1,555.6% from the January 15th total of 116,051 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,605,110 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.2 days. Approximately 4.8% of the company’s stock are sold short.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MERC. United Services Automobile Association raised its holdings in Mercer International by 35.8% in the second quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 16,180 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $283,000 after purchasing an additional 4,266 shares in the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC bought a new position in Mercer International in the third quarter worth about $442,000. Renaissance Group LLC raised its holdings in Mercer International by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Group LLC now owns 44,825 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $468,000 after purchasing an additional 1,569 shares in the last quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co raised its holdings in Mercer International by 144.3% in the third quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 44,532 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $748,000 after purchasing an additional 26,301 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP bought a new position in Mercer International in the third quarter worth about $782,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.72% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Mercer International stock opened at $14.37 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $954.53 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.63 and a beta of 1.81. The company has a quick ratio of 2.57, a current ratio of 3.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29. Mercer International has a one year low of $9.36 and a one year high of $19.14.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on MERC. BidaskClub raised shares of Mercer International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Mercer International from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. TD Securities reduced their target price on shares of Mercer International from $23.00 to $21.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Raymond James reiterated a “strong-buy” rating and issued a $25.00 target price on shares of Mercer International in a report on Friday, October 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Mercer International currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $22.67.

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Mercer International Company Profile

Mercer International Inc, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells northern bleached softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Pulp and Wood Products. It produces NBSK pulp primarily from wood chips and pulp logs; carbon neutral or green energy using carbon-neutral bio-fuels, such as black liquor and wood waste; and tall oil for use as a chemical additive and green energy source.

Further Reading: What is the quiet period?

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