U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Strong Sell”

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U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Monday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have a $5.75 price target on the mining company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 6.09% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “U.S. Silica is expected to gain from expansion actions in the fast-growing Permian Basin. The company is evaluating opportunities for greenfield expansions in the Permian Basin and expanding production capacities across some of its existing facilities. The Sandbox and EP Minerals buyout are also expected to make significant contribution in 2019. Its focus on increasing footprint, product offerings and developing value-added capabilities are also likely to boost margins. However, U.S. Silica is seeing significant cash outflows, which is hurting its ability to generate free cash flows. Also, persistent pricing pressure as well as lower SandBox volumes are likely to weigh on the Oil & Gas unit’s margins in the fourth quarter. High debt level is another concern. Also, the company has underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year.”

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on shares of U.S. Silica from $15.00 to $10.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 7th. Cowen downgraded shares of U.S. Silica from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $12.00 to $8.50 in a research note on Tuesday, October 1st. Piper Jaffray Companies downgraded U.S. Silica from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $10.50 to $5.50 in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. Johnson Rice lowered U.S. Silica from an “accumulate” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $12.00 to $5.00 in a report on Tuesday, November 5th. Finally, ValuEngine raised U.S. Silica from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. U.S. Silica presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $14.37.

Shares of NYSE SLCA traded up $0.06 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $5.42. 39,485 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,477,583. U.S. Silica has a 1 year low of $4.38 and a 1 year high of $18.72. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $5.55 and a 200 day moving average of $9.66. The stock has a market cap of $394.33 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 3.44 and a beta of 2.62. The company has a quick ratio of 1.21, a current ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.34.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The mining company reported ($0.17) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.04) by ($0.13). The company had revenue of $361.81 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $392.08 million. U.S. Silica had a negative net margin of 19.58% and a positive return on equity of 2.52%. U.S. Silica’s revenue for the quarter was down 14.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.44 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that U.S. Silica will post -0.86 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Peter Clark Bernard purchased 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 31st. The stock was bought at an average cost of $4.90 per share, with a total value of $49,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Over the last quarter, insiders have purchased 25,000 shares of company stock valued at $126,790. 2.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Banque Pictet & Cie SA purchased a new position in U.S. Silica during the second quarter worth approximately $177,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in shares of U.S. Silica by 81.2% during the second quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 3,235 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 1,450 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 84.2% during the 2nd quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 975,644 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $12,478,000 after purchasing an additional 445,860 shares during the last quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. raised its position in shares of U.S. Silica by 811.5% during the 2nd quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 292,376 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $3,739,000 after purchasing an additional 260,301 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. lifted its stake in U.S. Silica by 16.1% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 560,281 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $7,166,000 after buying an additional 77,529 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.69% of the company’s stock.

About U.S. Silica

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc produces and sells commercial silica in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Oil & Gas Proppants and Industrial & Specialty Products. It offers whole grain commercial silica products to be used as fracturing sand in connection with oil and natural gas recovery, as well as sells its whole grain silica products in various size distributions, grain shapes, and chemical purity levels for manufacturing glass products.

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Analyst Recommendations for U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA)

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