Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) has earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the seven analysts that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have issued a hold recommendation and two have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $17.50.

Several brokerages recently commented on MERC. Raymond James reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $22.00 target price on shares of Mercer International in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded shares of Mercer International from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $20.00 to $14.00 in a research note on Monday, August 5th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Mercer International from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Mercer International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, CIBC downgraded shares of Mercer International from a “sector outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, July 5th.

Shares of MERC traded up $0.15 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $12.87. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,915 shares, compared to its average volume of 231,551. The stock has a market cap of $888.63 million, a PE ratio of 6.57 and a beta of 1.67. The company has a current ratio of 3.76, a quick ratio of 2.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.58. Mercer International has a 52 week low of $9.36 and a 52 week high of $19.14. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $11.96 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $13.88.

Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by ($0.18). The business had revenue of $425.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $484.77 million. Mercer International had a return on equity of 24.49% and a net margin of 8.96%. The company’s revenue was up 22.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.26 earnings per share. Research analysts anticipate that Mercer International will post 1.15 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 25th will be given a dividend of $0.275 per share. This is an increase from Mercer International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. This represents a $1.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 8.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 24th. Mercer International’s payout ratio is presently 28.06%.

In related news, Director Martha A. M. Morfitt acquired 10,000 shares of Mercer International stock in a transaction on Friday, August 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $11.00 per share, with a total value of $110,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 3.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. LSV Asset Management purchased a new stake in shares of Mercer International in the 2nd quarter worth about $10,849,000. Keeley Teton Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Mercer International by 297.3% in the 2nd quarter. Keeley Teton Advisors LLC now owns 505,032 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $7,813,000 after buying an additional 377,928 shares during the period. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Mercer International in the 1st quarter worth about $1,891,000. Rhumbline Advisers purchased a new stake in shares of Mercer International in the 1st quarter worth about $881,000. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its position in shares of Mercer International by 98.5% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 119,607 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,850,000 after buying an additional 59,343 shares during the period. 79.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Mercer International Company Profile

Mercer International Inc, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells northern bleached softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Pulp and Wood Products. It produces NBSK pulp primarily from wood chips and pulp logs; carbon neutral or green energy using carbon-neutral bio-fuels, such as black liquor and wood waste; and tall oil for use as a chemical additive and green energy source.

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