W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released 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. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. BMO Capital Markets set a $90.00 price objective on W. R. Grace & Co and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Berenberg Bank began coverage on W. R. Grace & Co in a research report on Thursday, March 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $95.00 price objective for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $86.75.

Shares of GRA traded down $0.28 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $74.64. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 449,101 shares, compared to its average volume of 470,547. W. R. Grace & Co has a one year low of $59.22 and a one year high of $78.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.54, a current ratio of 1.54 and a quick ratio of 1.04. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.03, a PEG ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 1.02. The business has a 50-day moving average of $73.35.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.05. W. R. Grace & Co had a return on equity of 89.86% and a net margin of 7.55%. The company had revenue of $469.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $464.99 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.82 earnings per share. W. R. Grace & Co’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect that W. R. Grace & Co will post 4.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP Mark A. Shelnitz sold 11,792 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.36, for a total value of $900,437.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 76,253 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,822,679.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP William C. Dockman sold 4,717 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.49, for a total value of $360,803.33. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 11,013 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $842,384.37. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Huntington National Bank acquired a new position in W. R. Grace & Co during the first quarter worth $26,000. Harvest Group Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in W. R. Grace & Co during the first quarter worth $27,000. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co in the first quarter valued at $49,000. Advisors Preferred LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co in the first quarter valued at $76,000. Finally, Private Capital Group LLC increased its stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 24.9% in the first quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 1,249 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $97,000 after buying an additional 249 shares in the last quarter. 86.35% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Featured Story: What is the Coverage Ratio?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on W. R. Grace & Co (GRA)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

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

Receive News & Ratings for W. R. Grace & Co Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for W. R. Grace & Co and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.