Comparing Mercer International (MERC) and Its Peers

Mercer International (NASDAQ: MERC) is one of 22 public companies in the “PAPER” industry, but how does it compare to its rivals? We will compare Mercer International to similar companies based on the strength of its profitability, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, risk, earnings and analyst recommendations.


Mercer International pays an annual dividend of $0.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.8%. Mercer International pays out 46.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “PAPER” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.4% and pay out 24.2% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Mercer International and its rivals revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
Mercer International $1.17 billion $70.48 million 12.22
Mercer International Competitors $5.69 billion $1.15 billion -0.48

Mercer International’s rivals have higher revenue and earnings than Mercer International. Mercer International is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its rivals, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.


This table compares Mercer International and its rivals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mercer International 6.03% 17.19% 5.76%
Mercer International Competitors 18.24% 10.77% 3.69%

Risk and Volatility

Mercer International has a beta of 1.56, suggesting that its stock price is 56% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mercer International’s rivals have a beta of 0.79, suggesting that their average stock price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

76.7% of Mercer International shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 64.8% of shares of all “PAPER” companies are owned by institutional investors. 4.9% of Mercer International shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.7% of shares of all “PAPER” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Mercer International and its rivals, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mercer International 0 3 2 0 2.40
Mercer International Competitors 127 467 527 30 2.40

Mercer International currently has a consensus price target of $16.19, suggesting a potential upside of 22.63%. As a group, “PAPER” companies have a potential upside of 6.02%. Given Mercer International’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Mercer International is more favorable than its rivals.


Mercer International beats its rivals on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

Mercer International Company Profile

Mercer International Inc. is a producer of northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp, which is pulp that is sold on the open market. The Company also produces and sells tall oil, a by-product of its production process, which is used as both a chemical additive and as a green energy source. It produces and sells NBSK pulp, which is a bleached kraft pulp manufactured using northern softwood. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated two mills in Eastern Germany and one mill in Western Canada. As of December 31, 2016, its three NBSK pulp mills had consolidated annual production capacity of approximately 1.5 million air-dried metric tons (ADMTs) of NBSK pulp and were capable of generating 305 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Additionally, its German mills generate tall oil from black liquor, which is sold to third parties for use in various applications, including bio-fuels. The Company’s mills generate and sell energy to regional utilities.

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