Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) to Sell

Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Saturday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Mercer International Inc. owns and operates a diverse pulp and paper business in the southern German states of Saxony and Thuringia, in the former East Germany. The Company operates it’s pulp business primarily through its subsidiaries, Spezialpapierfabrik Blankenstein GmbH and Zellstof-und Papierfabrik Rosenthal GmbH & Co. KG , and conducts its paper business through another subsidiary, Dresden Papier GmbH. “

Several other research firms have also commented on MERC. TD Securities lowered shares of Mercer International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $16.50 to $12.50 in a research report on Friday, October 18th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Mercer International from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 19th. Raymond James reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $20.00 price target on shares of Mercer International in a research report on Friday, November 1st. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Mercer International from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, November 23rd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $15.50.

MERC stock opened at $12.44 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $800.67 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.35 and a beta of 1.59. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average of $12.45 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $12.88. Mercer International has a one year low of $9.36 and a one year high of $17.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72, a quick ratio of 2.52 and a current ratio of 3.84.

Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $0.02 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.02) by $0.04. The business had revenue of $383.54 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $398.57 million. Mercer International had a net margin of 6.34% and a return on equity of 17.72%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.63 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Mercer International will post 0.55 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Mercer International during the third quarter valued at about $46,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its holdings in shares of Mercer International by 6.8% during the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 12,877 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $161,000 after acquiring an additional 819 shares in the last quarter. PVG Asset Management Corp acquired a new position in shares of Mercer International during the second quarter valued at about $178,000. Yorktown Management & Research Co Inc acquired a new position in shares of Mercer International during the third quarter valued at about $203,000. Finally, Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan increased its holdings in shares of Mercer International by 116.3% during the second quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 27,280 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $422,000 after acquiring an additional 14,670 shares in the last quarter. 79.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Mercer International

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 net income?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Mercer International (MERC)

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

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