Very Favorable Press Coverage Likely to Affect W. R. Grace & Co (GRA) Stock Price

Media coverage about W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) has been trending very positive recently, according to Alpha One Sentiment Analysis. The research group, a unit of Accern, identifies positive and negative media coverage by analyzing more than 20 million blog and news sources in real time. Alpha One ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. W. R. Grace & Co earned a media sentiment score of 0.50 on Alpha One’s scale. Alpha One also gave news stories about the specialty chemicals company an impact score of 75 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is likely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the near term.

Here are some of the news stories that may have effected Alpha One Sentiment’s analysis:

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $82.00 target price on W. R. Grace & Co and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 8th. Robert W. Baird upgraded W. R. Grace & Co from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $76.00 to $85.00 in a research note on Tuesday, February 7th. Zacks Investment Research cut W. R. Grace & Co from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 7th. Finally, Aegis assumed coverage on W. R. Grace & Co in a research note on Thursday, January 5th. They set a “buy” rating and a $79.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $81.22.

Shares of W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) traded down 0.32% on Friday, hitting $68.93. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 328,112 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 51.56 and a beta of 1.15. W. R. Grace & Co has a 52 week low of $63.37 and a 52 week high of $80.56. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $69.23 and its 200 day moving average price is $69.14.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.01. The business earned $440.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $437.05 million. W. R. Grace & Co had a net margin of 5.40% and a return on equity of 37.23%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.72 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that W. R. Grace & Co will post $3.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 23rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 1st were given a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, February 27th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.21%. This is a positive change from W. R. Grace & Co’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. W. R. Grace & Co’s dividend payout ratio is currently 55.28%.

In other W. R. Grace & Co news, VP Thomas E. Blaser purchased 3,750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 6th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $70.35 per share, with a total value of $263,812.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 2,162 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $152,096.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Alfred E. Festa sold 80,560 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.49, for a total transaction of $5,759,234.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 321,790 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,004,767.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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W. R. Grace & Co Company Profile

W. R. Grace & Co (Grace) is engaged in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and specialty materials. The Company operates in two segments: Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment includes catalysts and related products and technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:GRA

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