Mercer International (MERC) Lifted to “Hold” at BidaskClub

BidaskClub upgraded shares of Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Saturday, BidAskClub reports.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on shares of Mercer International from $15.00 to $18.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. TD Securities raised their target price on shares of Mercer International from $17.00 to $18.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $20.33.

Shares of MERC opened at $14.52 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $961.70 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.41 and a beta of 1.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.86, a current ratio of 4.15 and a quick ratio of 2.59. Mercer International has a twelve month low of $9.36 and a twelve month high of $19.14.

Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The basic materials company reported $0.76 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by ($0.03). Mercer International had a return on equity of 22.62% and a net margin of 8.82%. The company had revenue of $412.25 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $395.77 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.64 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Mercer International will post 2.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 27th were given a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 26th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.44%. Mercer International’s dividend payout ratio is 25.51%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of MERC. Paloma Partners Management Co lifted its position in shares of Mercer International by 144.3% in the 3rd quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 44,532 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $748,000 after purchasing an additional 26,301 shares during the period. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new position in shares of Mercer International in the 3rd quarter worth about $782,000. Meritage Portfolio Management bought a new position in shares of Mercer International in the 4th quarter worth about $1,785,000. Renaissance Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Mercer International by 3.6% in the 4th quarter. Renaissance Group LLC now owns 44,825 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $468,000 after acquiring an additional 1,569 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Opus Capital Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Mercer International by 2.4% in the 4th quarter. Opus Capital Group LLC now owns 166,411 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,738,000 after acquiring an additional 3,905 shares in the last quarter. 76.33% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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