Zacks Investment Research Lowers Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) to Sell

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, February 14th.

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 research analysts have also commented on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Green Plains from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $27.00 price objective on shares of Green Plains in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. ValuEngine cut shares of Green Plains from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets restated an “outperform” rating and set a $25.00 target price (down from $30.00) on shares of Green Plains in a report on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Roth Capital set a $25.00 target price on shares of Green Plains and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $26.67.

Green Plains (GPRE) traded down $0.30 on Wednesday, reaching $18.95. 785,600 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 756,442. Green Plains has a 52-week low of $15.60 and a 52-week high of $26.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $790.29, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.36 and a beta of 1.55. The company has a current ratio of 1.36, a quick ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72.

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported ($0.16) EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.17) by $0.01. Green Plains had a net margin of 1.70% and a negative return on equity of 3.33%. The company had revenue of $920.98 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $953.30 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.47 earnings per share. Green Plains’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Green Plains will post 0.55 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Todd A. Becker bought 9,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 22nd. The stock was bought at an average price of $16.74 per share, for a total transaction of $150,660.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 716,588 shares in the company, valued at $11,995,683.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Walter S. Cronin sold 6,737 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.80, for a total transaction of $113,181.60. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 50,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately $843,360. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Green Plains by 5.6% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,245,101 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $88,382,000 after acquiring an additional 276,910 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its holdings in Green Plains by 70.0% in the 3rd quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 3,588,878 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $72,316,000 after acquiring an additional 1,478,073 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in Green Plains by 4.2% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,503,869 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $70,603,000 after acquiring an additional 140,514 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Green Plains by 4.9% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,780,334 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $57,136,000 after acquiring an additional 130,424 shares during the period. Finally, Private Management Group Inc. raised its holdings in Green Plains by 18.9% in the 4th quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 1,139,763 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $19,205,000 after acquiring an additional 181,206 shares during the period.

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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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