FMC (FMC) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of FMC (NYSE:FMC) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “FMC Corp. has outperformed the industry it belongs to over the past three months. It is seeing strong demand in its Lithium unit and is expanding production capacity to meet growing demand for electric vehicles. In particular, demand for battery-grade lithium products remains strong. The acquisition of a major portion of DuPont's Crop Protection business has also provided a significant growth platform for the company's Agricultural Solutions unit. Synergies from the buyout will drive the company’s earnings in 2018. The company should also gain from its efforts to expand product portfolio. However, FMC Corp. faces earnings headwind from higher effective tax rate in 2018. It is also exposed to challenging agriculture market fundamentals. The company's high debt level is another concern.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded FMC from a neutral rating to a buy rating and cut their price objective for the company from $98.70 to $98.00 in a research note on Monday, May 14th. Credit Suisse Group set a $100.00 price objective on FMC and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, April 14th. Stephens upgraded FMC from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and set a $100.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, May 4th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded FMC from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $90.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 12th. Finally, Loop Capital upped their price objective on FMC to $119.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, May 4th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. FMC presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $99.72.

Shares of FMC opened at $89.72 on Wednesday, according to MarketBeat Ratings. FMC has a 52-week low of $72.73 and a 52-week high of $98.70. The company has a market cap of $11.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.11, a PEG ratio of 1.02 and a beta of 1.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 1.23 and a current ratio of 1.61.

FMC (NYSE:FMC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 2nd. The basic materials company reported $1.84 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.21. FMC had a return on equity of 22.69% and a net margin of 26.54%. The firm had revenue of $1.21 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.64 earnings per share. FMC’s revenue for the quarter was up 103.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that FMC will post 6.1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 19th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.165 per share. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.74%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 28th. FMC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 24.35%.

In related news, insider Paul W. Graves sold 3,615 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.46, for a total value of $319,782.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 89,612 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,927,077.52. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Pierre R. Brondeau sold 72,992 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.19, for a total value of $6,364,172.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 407,487 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $35,528,791.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of FMC. Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in FMC in the 4th quarter worth approximately $329,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its holdings in FMC by 2.5% in the 4th quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 153,002 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $14,483,000 after buying an additional 3,727 shares in the last quarter. Assetmark Inc. grew its holdings in FMC by 212.2% in the 4th quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,489 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $141,000 after buying an additional 1,012 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank grew its holdings in FMC by 9.6% in the 4th quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 17,670 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,673,000 after buying an additional 1,552 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC bought a new position in FMC during the 4th quarter valued at $3,057,000. 85.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

FMC Company Profile

FMC Corporation, a diversified chemical company, provides solutions, applications, and products for the agricultural, consumer, and industrial markets worldwide. The company operates in two segments, FMC Agricultural Solutions and FMC Lithium. The FMC Agricultural Solutions segment develops, manufactures, markets, and sells crop protection chemicals, including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides that are used in agriculture to enhance crop yield and quality by controlling a range of insects, weeds, and diseases, as well as in non-agricultural markets for pest control.

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