Zacks Investment Research Downgrades PQ Group (NYSE:PQG) to Hold

PQ Group (NYSE:PQG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “PQ Group Holdings Inc. is an integrated, provider of catalysts, specialty materials and chemicals and services. It operates primarily in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. The company serves refinery, emissions control and petrochemical industries. PQ Group Holdings Inc. is based in MALVERN, United States. “

Shares of NYSE PQG opened at $15.90 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 1.09 and a current ratio of 2.17. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $15.81. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.28, a PEG ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.68. PQ Group has a 12-month low of $13.28 and a 12-month high of $18.54.

PQ Group (NYSE:PQG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 9th. The company reported $0.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.12 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $359.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $367.89 million. PQ Group had a return on equity of 6.82% and a net margin of 3.83%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.16 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that PQ Group will post 0.82 earnings per share for the current year.

In other PQ Group news, insider Ray Kolberg sold 12,077 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.87, for a total value of $191,661.99. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Rhumbline Advisers lifted its stake in PQ Group by 41.3% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 53,724 shares of the company’s stock worth $796,000 after acquiring an additional 15,713 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP acquired a new position in PQ Group during the 4th quarter worth about $2,429,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in PQ Group by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,491,710 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,903,000 after acquiring an additional 55,150 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its stake in PQ Group by 1.6% during the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 464,321 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,876,000 after acquiring an additional 7,316 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can acquired a new position in PQ Group during the 4th quarter worth about $62,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.85% of the company’s stock.

About PQ Group

PQ Group Holdings Inc provides catalysts, specialty materials and chemicals, and services in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Environmental Catalysts and Services; and Performance Materials and Chemicals. It primarily offers refinery catalysts, emissions control catalysts, and catalyst recycling services for fuels and emission controls use; silica gels for edible oil and beer clarification; precipitated silicas and zeolites for the surface coating, dentifrice, and dishwasher and laundry detergent applications; reflective markings for roadways and airports; and hollow glass beads or microspheres for cement additive, metal finishing, and oil well cement uses.

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