Short Interest in U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) Declines By 11.2%

U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) saw a large drop in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 14,174,700 shares, a drop of 11.2% from the June 30th total of 15,970,400 shares. Approximately 20.6% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,890,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 7.5 days.

Several analysts have issued reports on SLCA shares. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of U.S. Silica from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Cowen reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $20.00 price objective (down from $22.00) on shares of U.S. Silica in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Citigroup set a $14.00 price objective on shares of U.S. Silica and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. ValuEngine raised shares of U.S. Silica from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Finally, Bank of America set a $15.00 price objective on shares of U.S. Silica and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. U.S. Silica presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $21.50.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in U.S. Silica by 146.2% during the 1st quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,455 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $25,000 after purchasing an additional 864 shares during the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in U.S. Silica by 348.8% during the 2nd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,930 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $25,000 after purchasing an additional 1,500 shares during the last quarter. Investors Research Corp bought a new position in U.S. Silica during the 1st quarter valued at about $26,000. Avestar Capital LLC bought a new position in U.S. Silica during the 1st quarter valued at about $27,000. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in shares of U.S. Silica by 31.6% in the fourth quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 3,283 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $33,000 after acquiring an additional 788 shares during the last quarter.

SLCA stock traded down $0.61 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $12.08. 1,623,700 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,723,184. U.S. Silica has a one year low of $9.30 and a one year high of $23.91. The stock has a market cap of $882.96 million, a PE ratio of 7.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.07 and a beta of 2.60. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $12.13. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.34 and a current ratio of 1.79.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The mining company reported $0.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.05) by $0.19. U.S. Silica had a negative net margin of 16.92% and a positive return on equity of 6.49%. The firm had revenue of $394.85 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $396.72 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.64 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that U.S. Silica will post 0.18 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, September 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.063 per share. This represents a $0.25 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.09%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 12th. U.S. Silica’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.82%.

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, 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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