W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “W. R. Grace & Co. produces specialty chemicals. They primarily operate through the following two business segments: Davison Chemicals and Performance Chemicals. Davison Chemicals manufactures catalysts (fluid cracking, hydroprocessing and polyolein) and silica and zeolite absorbents. Performance Chemicals produces specialty construction and building materials, along with container and closure sealants. “

GRA has been the subject of a number of other research reports. ValuEngine cut shares of W. R. Grace & Co from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, July 27th. BMO Capital Markets set a $83.00 price target on shares of W. R. Grace & Co and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 26th. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $81.00 price target on shares of W. R. Grace & Co and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $85.50.

NYSE GRA opened at $65.21 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.06, a current ratio of 1.48 and a quick ratio of 1.01. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $71.17 and its 200 day moving average price is $74.51. The company has a market capitalization of $4.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.24 and a beta of 1.02. W. R. Grace & Co has a 12 month low of $59.22 and a 12 month high of $79.71.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.16 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $513.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $508.65 million. W. R. Grace & Co had a net margin of 9.31% and a return on equity of 85.42%. The company’s revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that W. R. Grace & Co will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 15th will be paid a $0.27 dividend. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.66%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 14th. W. R. Grace & Co’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.09%.

In related news, VP William C. Dockman acquired 1,000 shares of W. R. Grace & Co stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 2nd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $68.21 per share, for a total transaction of $68,210.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the vice president now directly owns 8,675 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $591,721.75. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Force Andrew Hudson La III bought 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $69.04 per share, with a total value of $276,160.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 96,391 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,654,834.64. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased 470,483 shares of company stock valued at $30,199,513 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Harvest Group Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in W. R. Grace & Co during the 1st quarter valued at about $27,000. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co during the first quarter worth about $49,000. Advisors Preferred LLC purchased a new stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co during the first quarter worth about $76,000. Private Capital Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of W. R. Grace & Co by 24.9% during the first quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 1,249 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $97,000 after buying an additional 249 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC purchased a new stake in shares of W. R. Grace & Co during the first quarter worth about $291,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.13% of the company’s stock.

About W. R. Grace & Co

W. R. Grace & Co produces and sells specialty chemicals and materials worldwide. It operates through two segments, Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment offers fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts for the production of transportation fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuels, and petrochemicals; FCC additives; and methanol-to-olefins catalysts for the conversion of methanol into petrochemical feeds, including ethylene and propylene.

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