FMC (FMC) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of FMC (NYSE:FMC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $89.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “FMC Corp. recently provided an upbeat outlook for the first quarter and full-year 2018. The company sees adjusted earnings for both periods to exceed the top end of its prior guidance ranges. FMC Corp. is seeing strong demand in its Lithium unit and is expanding production capacity to meet growing demand for electric vehicles. The acquisition of a major portion of DuPont's Crop Protection business has also provided a significant growth platform for the company's Agricultural Solutions unit. The company should also gain from its efforts to expand product portfolio.”

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A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on FMC. Loop Capital set a $106.00 price target on shares of FMC and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Credit Suisse Group set a $111.00 price target on shares of FMC and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Citigroup raised shares of FMC from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $95.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. TheStreet cut shares of FMC from a b rating to a c rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating on shares of FMC in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $97.74.

FMC stock opened at $78.13 on Friday. FMC has a 1 year low of $69.93 and a 1 year high of $98.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $10,495.28, a P/E ratio of 28.83, a P/E/G ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 1.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 1.20 and a current ratio of 1.65.

FMC (NYSE:FMC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 12th. The basic materials company reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.05 by $0.05. FMC had a net margin of 18.61% and a return on equity of 16.82%. The firm had revenue of $979.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $993.57 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.88 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 42.3% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that FMC will post 5.71 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 19th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 29th will be issued a $0.165 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $0.66 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.84%. FMC’s payout ratio is currently 24.35%.

In other FMC news, insider Mark Douglas sold 10,698 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.41, for a total value of $903,018.18. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 63,191 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,333,952.31. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in FMC. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its holdings in shares of FMC by 11.5% during the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 25,611 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,424,000 after acquiring an additional 2,634 shares during the period. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp raised its holdings in shares of FMC by 61.6% during the 4th quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 54,965 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $5,203,000 after acquiring an additional 20,959 shares during the period. William Blair Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of FMC by 18.5% during the 4th quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 61,532 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $5,825,000 after acquiring an additional 9,616 shares during the period. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of FMC by 84.8% during the 4th quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. now owns 8,500 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $805,000 after acquiring an additional 3,900 shares during the period. Finally, MetLife Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of FMC during the 4th quarter worth $3,932,000. Institutional investors own 90.53% of the company’s stock.

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About FMC

FMC Corporation is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, consumer and industrial markets. The Company operates in three business segments: FMC Agricultural Solutions, FMC Health and Nutrition, and FMC Lithium. As of December 31, 2016, the FMC Agricultural Solutions segment developed, marketed and sold three classes of crop protection chemicals: insecticides, herbicides and fungicides.

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