Century Aluminum (NASDAQ:CENX) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Century Aluminum (NASDAQ:CENX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, March 16th.

According to Zacks, “Century Aluminum has outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year.  The company is likely to gain from its initiatives to reduce operating costs. It is also expected to benefit from strong aluminum demand across automotive and aerospace markets as well as from acquisitions. However, Century Aluminum is seeing high costs for certain key raw materials, which will weigh on its margins. The company also has to pay a high price for power for the Mt. Holly smelter. Moreover, high levels of production from China is still hurting the aluminum industry.”

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Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Century Aluminum from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, December 14th. Deutsche Bank cut shares of Century Aluminum from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $20.00 to $14.00 in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. TheStreet raised shares of Century Aluminum from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, February 23rd. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Century Aluminum from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $28.00 price target on the stock in a report on Sunday, March 11th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase raised shares of Century Aluminum from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $18.00 to $14.50 in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.10.

Shares of CENX stock traded down $0.23 on Friday, reaching $16.79. The stock had a trading volume of 3,137,117 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,789,047. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, a quick ratio of 1.24 and a current ratio of 2.91. The stock has a market cap of $1,470.18, a price-to-earnings ratio of 46.64 and a beta of 0.87. Century Aluminum has a 12 month low of $11.59 and a 12 month high of $24.77.

Century Aluminum (NASDAQ:CENX) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd. The industrial products company reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $433.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $427.73 million. Century Aluminum had a net margin of 3.02% and a return on equity of 4.52%. Century Aluminum’s quarterly revenue was up 27.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned ($0.12) EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Century Aluminum will post 1.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in CENX. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its position in shares of Century Aluminum by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 39,906 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $622,000 after purchasing an additional 406 shares in the last quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Century Aluminum during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $407,000. Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new position in shares of Century Aluminum during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $366,000. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its position in shares of Century Aluminum by 68.4% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 205,255 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,404,000 after purchasing an additional 83,340 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its position in shares of Century Aluminum by 893.6% during the 3rd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 180,018 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,985,000 after purchasing an additional 161,900 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.18% of the company’s stock.

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Century Aluminum Company Profile

Century Aluminum Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces standard-grade and value-added primary aluminum in the United States and Iceland. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

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