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

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, 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 analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Raymond James restated an outperform rating and issued a $19.00 price target on shares of Mercer International in a research note on Thursday, January 16th. BidaskClub downgraded Mercer International from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th. ValuEngine upgraded Mercer International from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, January 16th. Finally, TD Securities downgraded Mercer International from a buy rating to a hold rating and cut their target price for the company from $16.50 to $12.50 in a research report on Friday, October 18th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Mercer International presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $15.17.

Shares of MERC stock traded down $0.63 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $12.19. 117,896 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 238,478. The company has a quick ratio of 2.52, a current ratio of 3.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $871.55 million, a PE ratio of 7.43 and a beta of 1.56. Mercer International has a twelve month low of $10.57 and a twelve month high of $17.74. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $12.37 and its 200-day moving average price is $12.34.

Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $0.02 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.02) by $0.04. The business had revenue of $383.54 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $398.57 million. Mercer International had a return on equity of 17.72% and a net margin of 6.34%. The firm’s revenue was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.63 EPS. As a group, analysts anticipate that Mercer International will post 0.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its position in shares of Mercer International by 9.2% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 118,063 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,481,000 after buying an additional 9,990 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its holdings in Mercer International by 6.8% in the 3rd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 12,877 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $161,000 after purchasing an additional 819 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Preferred LLC acquired a new position in Mercer International in the 4th quarter worth about $29,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Mercer International in the 3rd quarter worth about $46,000. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its holdings in Mercer International by 98.5% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 119,607 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,850,000 after purchasing an additional 59,343 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.49% of the company’s stock.

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.

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