Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

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 Thursday, 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. “

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on MERC. Raymond James downgraded shares of Mercer International from a “strong-buy” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 16th. CIBC downgraded shares of Mercer International from a “sector outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 5th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Mercer International from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, July 12th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Mercer International from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 13th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased their price objective on shares of Mercer International from $18.00 to $22.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Mercer International has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $21.67.

MERC traded up $0.05 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $12.33. 691,621 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 353,607. Mercer International has a 12-month low of $9.36 and a 12-month high of $19.14. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $14.17. The stock has a market cap of $809.47 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.29 and a beta of 1.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.68, a quick ratio of 2.65 and a current ratio of 3.98.

Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.34 by ($0.18). Mercer International had a return on equity of 26.76% and a net margin of 9.82%. The business had revenue of $425.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $484.77 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.26 earnings per share. Mercer International’s quarterly revenue was up 22.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Mercer International will post 1.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MERC. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Mercer International in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $1,891,000. Arizona State Retirement System acquired a new position in shares of Mercer International in the 1st quarter valued at $897,000. Rhumbline Advisers acquired a new position in shares of Mercer International in the 1st quarter valued at $881,000. Comerica Bank acquired a new position in shares of Mercer International in the 1st quarter valued at $634,000. Finally, Systematic Financial Management LP boosted its holdings in shares of Mercer International by 9.5% in the 1st quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 313,700 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $4,238,000 after buying an additional 27,288 shares in the last quarter. 78.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Mercer International Company Profile

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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