U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) – Stock analysts at SunTrust Banks decreased their Q1 2018 EPS estimates for U.S. Silica in a report released on Wednesday. SunTrust Banks analyst K. Sill now expects that the mining company will post earnings per share of $0.44 for the quarter, down from their previous forecast of $0.64. SunTrust Banks currently has a “Buy” rating and a $38.00 target price on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for U.S. Silica’s Q3 2018 earnings at $0.67 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $2.46 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $0.69 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $2.94 EPS.
SLCA has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded U.S. Silica from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $38.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, December 4th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $44.00 price objective on U.S. Silica and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 21st. Barclays upgraded U.S. Silica from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $39.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, November 20th. Credit Suisse Group cut their price objective on U.S. Silica from $43.00 to $40.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of U.S. Silica in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and nineteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $44.57.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Boothbay Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of U.S. Silica in the third quarter valued at about $548,000. Allianz Asset Management GmbH grew its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 110.4% in the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 916,732 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $28,483,000 after purchasing an additional 481,067 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of U.S. Silica in the fourth quarter valued at about $2,377,000. KBC Group NV grew its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 80.1% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 644,268 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $20,977,000 after purchasing an additional 286,460 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 10.0% in the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 449,526 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $13,967,000 after purchasing an additional 40,996 shares during the last quarter. 97.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other U.S. Silica news, Director William Jennings Kacal bought 20,300 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 23rd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $25.78 per share, with a total value of $523,334.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Bradford B. Casper sold 8,700 shares of the 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 transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,593 shares in the company, valued at $636,066.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have acquired 38,200 shares of company stock worth $1,038,997 over the last three months. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.0625 per share. This represents a $0.25 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. U.S. Silica’s payout ratio is 18.66%.
U.S. Silica announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Monday, November 6th that allows the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the mining company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
U.S. Silica Company Profile
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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