Verso (VRS) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Verso (NYSE:VRS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Verso Corporation is engaged in the paper industry. The Company produces coated freesheet, coated ground wood and uncoated super calendered papers and pulp. It serves to magazine and catalog publishers, commercial printers, specialty retail merchandisers and paper merchants. The company operates primarily in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Verso Corporation is based in Memphis, United States. “

Other analysts have also issued reports about the stock. B. Riley raised shares of Verso to a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, February 16th. BWS Financial set a $20.00 target price on shares of Verso and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 18th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Verso from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st.

Shares of Verso (NYSE:VRS) traded up $0.87 on Wednesday, hitting $17.76. 224,062 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 475,392. The stock has a market capitalization of $588.49, a price-to-earnings ratio of -10.57 and a beta of 2.02. Verso has a 1 year low of $3.17 and a 1 year high of $18.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a current ratio of 2.15 and a quick ratio of 0.80.

In related news, major shareholder Mudrick Capital Management, L. sold 798,849 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.74, for a total value of $13,372,732.26. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 1,286,595 shares of company stock valued at $21,508,948. 4.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Verso by 6.2% during the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 71,734 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,260,000 after buying an additional 4,165 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in shares of Verso by 20.8% during the fourth quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 26,092 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $458,000 after buying an additional 4,493 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Verso by 15.5% during the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 67,591 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,188,000 after buying an additional 9,091 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY purchased a new stake in shares of Verso during the fourth quarter valued at about $171,000. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers lifted its position in shares of Verso by 33.2% during the third quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 47,259 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 11,790 shares during the last quarter. 62.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Verso

Verso Corporation is a producer of coated papers, which are used in magazines, catalogs, advertising brochures and annual reports, among other media and marketing publications. The Company operates through two segments: paper and pulp. The Paper segment includes paper products, which are used in media and marketing applications, including catalogs, magazines, and commercial printing applications, such as advertising brochures, annual reports and direct-mail advertising.

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