W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note 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 research firms have also issued reports on GRA. ValuEngine lowered shares of W. R. Grace & Co from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Saturday, July 27th. Robert W. Baird set a $81.00 price target on shares of W. R. Grace & Co and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 26th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $83.00 price target on shares of W. R. Grace & Co and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $85.50.



NYSE GRA opened at $64.32 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.06, a current ratio of 1.48 and a quick ratio of 1.01. The firm has a market cap of $4.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.02. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $73.39. W. R. Grace & Co has a 1 year low of $59.22 and a 1 year high of $79.71.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $513.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $508.65 million. W. R. Grace & Co had a net margin of 9.31% and a return on equity of 85.42%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.07 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that W. R. Grace & Co will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 15th will be given a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 14th. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.68%. W. R. Grace & Co’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.09%.

In related news, insider Force Andrew Hudson La III bought 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The shares were purchased at an average price of $69.04 per share, for a total transaction of $276,160.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 96,391 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,654,834.64. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP William C. Dockman bought 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 2nd. The stock was bought at an average price of $68.21 per share, for a total transaction of $68,210.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 8,675 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $591,721.75. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired 227,799 shares of company stock worth $14,511,090 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its position in W. R. Grace & Co by 7.0% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,032,072 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $80,543,000 after buying an additional 67,442 shares in the last quarter. Putnam Investments LLC boosted its position in W. R. Grace & Co by 6.0% in the second quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 708,881 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $53,953,000 after buying an additional 40,153 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in W. R. Grace & Co by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 623,801 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $40,490,000 after buying an additional 30,216 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in W. R. Grace & Co by 1.5% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 333,951 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $25,418,000 after buying an additional 4,926 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace North America L.P. acquired a new stake in W. R. Grace & Co in the second quarter valued at approximately $19,746,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.84% of the company’s stock.

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.

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