Ferro Co. (NYSE:FOE) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Ferro Co. (NYSE:FOE) was the target of a large increase in short interest in the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,560,000 shares, an increase of 6.7% from the December 15th total of 5,210,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 732,400 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 7.6 days. Approximately 6.9% of the shares of the company are short sold.

In other Ferro news, CEO Peter T. Thomas sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.23, for a total value of $213,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 692,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,860,763.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 2.71% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its position in shares of Ferro by 30.0% during the 3rd quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 5,138,416 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $60,942,000 after purchasing an additional 1,184,963 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Ferro during the 2nd quarter worth about $37,981,000. Northern Trust Corp increased its position in shares of Ferro by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,112,622 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $17,579,000 after purchasing an additional 18,644 shares in the last quarter. Skyline Asset Management LP increased its position in shares of Ferro by 17.8% during the 4th quarter. Skyline Asset Management LP now owns 757,900 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $11,240,000 after purchasing an additional 114,300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Ferro by 386.3% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 658,438 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $10,403,000 after purchasing an additional 523,047 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.27% of the company’s stock.

Shares of FOE stock traded up $0.07 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $14.95. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 38,202 shares, compared to its average volume of 756,519. Ferro has a 1-year low of $9.73 and a 1-year high of $21.28. The company has a market cap of $1.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.92, a PEG ratio of 3.21 and a beta of 2.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.18, a quick ratio of 1.50 and a current ratio of 2.62. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $14.59 and its two-hundred day moving average is $12.99.

Ferro (NYSE:FOE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 11th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.29 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $365.73 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $371.34 million. Ferro had a net margin of 3.13% and a return on equity of 27.03%. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Ferro will post 1.18 EPS for the current year.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on FOE. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ferro from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, January 4th. Deutsche Bank increased their price target on shares of Ferro from $16.00 to $17.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 17th. Gabelli downgraded shares of Ferro to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, December 16th. ValuEngine raised shares of Ferro from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 25th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co began coverage on shares of Ferro in a report on Tuesday, October 15th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $12.00 price target for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $15.80.

Ferro Company Profile

Ferro Corporation produces specialty materials in the United States and internationally. It operates through three segments: Performance Coatings, Performance Colors and Glass, and Color Solutions. The company offers frits, porcelain and other glass enamels, glazes, stains, decorating colors, pigments, inks, polishing materials, dielectrics, electronic glasses, and other specialty coatings.

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