Mercer International Inc. (MERC) Short Interest Up 1,555.6% in January

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Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,921,323 shares, an increase of 1,555.6% from the January 15th total of 116,051 shares. Approximately 4.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,605,110 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.2 days.

MERC has been the subject of several recent research reports. BidaskClub raised Mercer International from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Raymond James reissued a “strong-buy” rating and issued a $25.00 price objective on shares of Mercer International in a research note on Friday, October 26th. TD Securities reduced their price objective on Mercer International from $23.00 to $21.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Mercer International from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Mercer International currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $22.67.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Mercer International in the 3rd quarter worth $782,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Mercer International by 5.3% in the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 306,693 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $5,183,000 after acquiring an additional 15,552 shares during the last quarter. Walthausen & Co. LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Mercer International in the 3rd quarter worth $13,730,000. Meritage Portfolio Management acquired a new stake in shares of Mercer International in the 4th quarter worth $1,785,000. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Mercer International in the 3rd quarter worth $442,000. 76.72% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of MERC traded down $0.27 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $14.37. The company had a trading volume of 196,135 shares, compared to its average volume of 764,505. Mercer International has a 1-year low of $9.36 and a 1-year high of $19.14. The company has a market capitalization of $954.53 million, a PE ratio of 7.63 and a beta of 1.81. The company has a quick ratio of 2.57, a current ratio of 3.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29.

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About Mercer International

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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