Green Plains (GPRE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Green Plains Inc. is vertically integrated producer, marketer and distributer of ethanol. The company operates through four segments: Ethanol Production, Corn Oil Production, Agribusiness, and Marketing and Distribution. It produces ethanol and co-products, such as wet, modified wet or dried distillers grains, as well as extracts non-edible corn oil. The company is also involved in buying and selling bulk grain primarily corn and soybeans. Green Plains Inc., formerly known as Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc., is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Green Plains from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Piper Jaffray Companies upgraded Green Plains from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. BMO Capital Markets restated an outperform rating and set a $25.00 target price (down previously from $30.00) on shares of Green Plains in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Roth Capital set a $25.00 target price on Green Plains and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Green Plains from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $26.67.

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) traded up $0.70 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $19.20. The stock had a trading volume of 840,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 769,290. Green Plains has a 12 month low of $15.60 and a 12 month high of $26.05. The company has a quick ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 1.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72.

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported ($0.16) earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.17) by $0.01. The company had revenue of $920.98 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $953.30 million. Green Plains had a negative return on equity of 3.33% and a net margin of 1.70%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.47 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Green Plains will post 0.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, February 23rd will be issued a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.50%. Green Plains’s dividend payout ratio is presently 39.02%.

In related news, EVP Walter S. Cronin sold 6,737 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.80, for a total value of $113,181.60. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 50,200 shares in the company, valued at $843,360. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Wayne Hoovestol acquired 102,653 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The stock was bought at an average price of $16.37 per share, with a total value of $1,680,429.61. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 218,277 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,573,194.49. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased 127,136 shares of company stock valued at $2,087,178 in the last quarter. 6.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GPRE. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its holdings in Green Plains by 16.0% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 61,700 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,268,000 after purchasing an additional 8,500 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Green Plains by 3.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,606,262 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $94,658,000 after purchasing an additional 167,047 shares during the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its holdings in Green Plains by 13.3% in the second quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 82,197 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,689,000 after purchasing an additional 9,671 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its holdings in Green Plains by 28.6% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 10,599 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $218,000 after purchasing an additional 2,360 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in Green Plains by 51.8% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,083,248 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $22,260,000 after purchasing an additional 369,744 shares during the last quarter.

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Green Plains Company Profile

Green Plains Inc is an ethanol producer. The Company owns and operates assets throughout the ethanol value chain, including upstream, with grain handling and storage through its ethanol production facilities, and downstream, with marketing and distribution services. It operates through four segments: Ethanol Production, Agribusiness and Energy Services, Food and Food Ingredients, and Partnership.

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