Mercer International (MERC) Trading Down 8.7% Following Weak Earnings

Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) was down 8.7% during mid-day trading on Friday following a weaker than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as low as $14.61 and last traded at $15.73. Approximately 1,136,916 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 401% from the average daily volume of 226,773 shares. The stock had previously closed at $17.23.

The basic materials company reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by ($0.11). The firm had revenue of $331.06 million during the quarter. Mercer International had a net margin of 9.06% and a return on equity of 22.46%.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 20th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 13th will be given a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 12th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.18%.



A number of research firms have commented on MERC. ValuEngine lowered shares of Mercer International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 20th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Mercer International from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, October 12th. Raymond James boosted their price target on shares of Mercer International from $19.50 to $22.50 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 9th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and issued a $22.00 price target on shares of Mercer International in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $23.33.

In other Mercer International news, Director James Shepherd sold 4,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.75, for a total value of $85,200.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 4.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. United Services Automobile Association lifted its position in shares of Mercer International by 35.8% during 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. Paloma Partners Management Co acquired a new position in shares of Mercer International during the second quarter worth approximately $319,000. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt lifted its position in shares of Mercer International by 377.8% during the second quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt now owns 21,500 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $376,000 after purchasing an additional 17,000 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its position in shares of Mercer International by 7.3% during the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 132,529 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,319,000 after purchasing an additional 9,039 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Mercer International by 3.8% during the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 348,776 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,335,000 after purchasing an additional 12,885 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.73% of the company’s stock.

The stock has a market capitalization of $1.12 billion, a PE ratio of 8.97 and a beta of 1.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 2.51 and a current ratio of 3.51.

Mercer International Company Profile (NASDAQ:MERC)

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.

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