Shares of U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) gapped up before the market opened on Tuesday after an insider bought additional shares in the company. The stock had previously closed at $26.07, but opened at $26.75. U.S. Silica shares last traded at $26.75, with a volume of 4350000 shares trading hands.
Specifically, Director Charles W. Shaver acquired 3,300 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 12th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $33.99 per share, for a total transaction of $112,167.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 29,829 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,013,887.71. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Bradford B. Casper sold 8,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.21, for a total transaction of $297,627.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 18,593 shares in the company, valued at approximately $636,066.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders bought 38,200 shares of company stock worth $1,038,997. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
SLCA has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Cowen set a $45.00 price target on shares of U.S. Silica and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. B. Riley initiated coverage on shares of U.S. Silica in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. They set a “buy” rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price target on shares of U.S. Silica from $43.00 to $40.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Wolfe Research downgraded shares of U.S. Silica from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of U.S. Silica from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $38.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, December 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $44.57.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a $0.0625 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $0.25 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.93%. U.S. Silica’s dividend payout ratio is presently 18.66%.
U.S. Silica announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Monday, November 6th that permits the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the mining company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of SLCA. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,676,019 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $347,610,000 after buying an additional 530,193 shares during the last quarter. Ariel Investments LLC raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Ariel Investments LLC now owns 4,899,994 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $159,544,000 after buying an additional 119,149 shares during the last quarter. Van Berkom & Associates Inc. raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 4.1% in the third quarter. Van Berkom & Associates Inc. now owns 1,850,760 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $57,503,000 after buying an additional 73,679 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,444,958 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $47,047,000 after buying an additional 13,352 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 19.8% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,435,705 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $44,606,000 after buying an additional 237,041 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 97.69% of the company’s stock.
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About U.S. Silica
U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc is a domestic producer of commercial silica, a specialized mineral that is an input into a range of end markets. The Company operates in two segments: Oil & Gas Proppants, and Industrial & Specialty Products. In the Oil & Gas Proppants segment, it serves the oil and gas recovery market providing fracturing sand, or frac sand, which is pumped down oil and natural gas wells to prop open rock fissures and manage the flow rate of natural gas and oil from the wells.
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