U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) Lowered to “Strong Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report released on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $5.75 target price on the mining company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “U.S. Silica is expected to gain from expansion actions in the fast-growing Permian Basin. The company is evaluating opportunities for greenfield expansions in the Permian Basin and expanding production capacities across some of its existing facilities. The Sandbox and EP Minerals buyout are also expected to make significant contribution in 2019. Its focus on increasing footprint, product offerings and developing value-added capabilities are also likely to boost margins. However, U.S. Silica is seeing significant cash outflows, which is hurting its ability to generate free cash flows. Also, persistent pricing pressure as well as lower SandBox volumes are likely to weigh on the Oil & Gas unit’s margins in the fourth quarter. High debt level is another concern. Also, the company has underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Cowen cut shares of U.S. Silica from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $12.00 to $8.50 in a research note on Tuesday, October 1st. B. Riley lowered their price target on U.S. Silica from $20.00 to $15.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 22nd. Citigroup lifted their price objective on U.S. Silica from $10.00 to $12.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, September 23rd. Johnson Rice downgraded U.S. Silica from an accumulate rating to a hold rating and cut their price objective for the company from $12.00 to $5.00 in a report on Tuesday, November 5th. Finally, ValuEngine raised U.S. Silica from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. U.S. Silica currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $14.37.

Shares of NYSE SLCA traded up $0.08 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $5.49. The stock had a trading volume of 925,253 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,477,583. The company has a quick ratio of 1.21, a current ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.34. U.S. Silica has a 52 week low of $4.38 and a 52 week high of $18.72. The company has a market cap of $401.69 million, a P/E ratio of 3.47 and a beta of 2.62. The business’s 50 day moving average is $5.44 and its 200-day moving average is $9.55.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The mining company reported ($0.17) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.04) by ($0.13). U.S. Silica had a positive return on equity of 2.52% and a negative net margin of 19.58%. The business had revenue of $361.81 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $392.08 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.44 EPS. U.S. Silica’s quarterly revenue was down 14.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that U.S. Silica will post -0.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 13th will be given a dividend of $0.063 per share. This represents a $0.25 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 12th. U.S. Silica’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.82%.

In other U.S. Silica news, Director Charles W. Shaver bought 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 5th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $5.37 per share, for a total transaction of $53,700.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Over the last quarter, insiders bought 25,000 shares of company stock worth $126,790. Insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Voloridge Investment Management LLC bought a new position in U.S. Silica in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $326,000. Virtu Financial LLC acquired a new stake in U.S. Silica in the 3rd quarter valued at $173,000. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in U.S. Silica during the 3rd quarter valued at $149,000. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in U.S. Silica by 23.1% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 145,374 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $1,390,000 after purchasing an additional 27,241 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Tennessee Treasury Department lifted its stake in shares of U.S. Silica by 4.9% in the third quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 226,974 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $2,170,000 after buying an additional 10,684 shares in the last quarter. 98.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

U.S. Silica Company Profile

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc produces and sells commercial silica in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Oil & Gas Proppants and Industrial & Specialty Products. It offers whole grain commercial silica products to be used as fracturing sand in connection with oil and natural gas recovery, as well as sells its whole grain silica products in various size distributions, grain shapes, and chemical purity levels for manufacturing glass products.

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