Morgan Stanley Downgrades U.S. Silica (SLCA) to Weight

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) was downgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal” rating to a “weight” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. They currently have a $18.00 target price on the mining company’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target indicates a potential downside of 2.07% from the stock’s current price.

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on SLCA. Seaport Global Securities reissued a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 target price on shares of U.S. Silica in a report on Thursday, August 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co assumed coverage on U.S. Silica in a report on Saturday, September 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $24.00 target price for the company. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $26.00 price target on U.S. Silica and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Guggenheim cut U.S. Silica from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 6th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus cut their price target on U.S. Silica from $26.00 to $24.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $32.74.

Shares of U.S. Silica stock opened at $18.38 on Thursday. U.S. Silica has a 12 month low of $17.91 and a 12 month high of $38.70. The company has a market cap of $1.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.25 and a beta of 2.16. The company has a quick ratio of 2.27, a current ratio of 2.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The mining company reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by ($0.03). U.S. Silica had a net margin of 10.79% and a return on equity of 13.14%. The firm had revenue of $427.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $455.35 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.38 EPS. U.S. Silica’s revenue was up 47.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that U.S. Silica will post 2.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other U.S. Silica news, Director J Michael Stice acquired 5,414 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 28th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $18.49 per share, for a total transaction of $100,104.86. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 32,556 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $601,960.44. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Bryan Adair Shinn acquired 2,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 27th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $18.45 per share, with a total value of $40,590.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 126,243 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,329,183.35. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders purchased 9,614 shares of company stock valued at $178,565. Insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in U.S. Silica by 6.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,068,906 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $284,360,000 after acquiring an additional 634,747 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management grew its position in U.S. Silica by 4,355.2% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,965,084 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $101,863,000 after acquiring an additional 3,876,084 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in U.S. Silica by 8.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,654,500 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $93,887,000 after acquiring an additional 281,567 shares during the period. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. grew its position in U.S. Silica by 1.4% in the second quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,336,162 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $60,016,000 after acquiring an additional 31,363 shares during the period. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its position in U.S. Silica by 7.9% in the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 1,891,901 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $48,603,000 after acquiring an additional 138,716 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 99.21% of the company’s stock.

About U.S. Silica

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc produces and sells commercial silica in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Oil & Gas Proppants and Industrial & Specialty Products. It offers whole grain commercial silica products to be used as fracturing sand in connection with oil and natural gas recovery; and resin coated proppants, as well as sells its whole grain silica products in various size distributions, grain shapes, and chemical purity levels for manufacturing glass products.

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Analyst Recommendations for U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA)

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