Vertex Energy (NASDAQ:VTNR) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Vertex Energy (NASDAQ:VTNR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Vertex Energy, Inc. operates as an environmental services company that recycles industrial waste streams and off-specification commercial chemical products. Its primary focus is recycling used motor oil and other petroleum by-product streams. Vertex operates in three divisions: Black Oil Division, Refining and Marketing Division and Thermal Chemical Extraction Process. The Company also manages the transport, storage and delivery of the aggregated feedstock and product streams to end users, and manages the re-refining of a portion of its aggregated petroleum streams in order to sell them as end products. It sells its aggregated petroleum streams as feedstock to other re-refineries and fuel blenders or as replacement fuel for use in industrial burners. Vertex Energy, Inc. is based in Houston, Texas. “

VTNR has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Credit Suisse Group started coverage on shares of Vertex Energy in a research report on Wednesday, December 1st. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $13.00 price objective for the company. Craig Hallum raised shares of Vertex Energy to a “buy” rating and set a $18.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, November 9th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $14.00 target price on shares of Vertex Energy in a report on Monday, October 4th.

Shares of VTNR opened at $5.12 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $4.64 and a 200-day moving average of $6.53. Vertex Energy has a one year low of $0.96 and a one year high of $14.32. The company has a market cap of $324.03 million, a PE ratio of -13.84 and a beta of 1.73.

Vertex Energy (NASDAQ:VTNR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 9th. The industrial products company reported ($0.04) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.04 by ($0.08). Vertex Energy had a negative net margin of 7.20% and a negative return on equity of 12.97%. The firm had revenue of $28.97 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $52.00 million. As a group, analysts expect that Vertex Energy will post 0.11 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Vertex Energy by 26.7% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,663,060 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $8,714,000 after purchasing an additional 350,546 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Vertex Energy by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,528,017 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $20,215,000 after purchasing an additional 36,428 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in Vertex Energy by 669.4% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,012,803 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $5,307,000 after purchasing an additional 881,163 shares in the last quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP acquired a new stake in Vertex Energy in the 3rd quarter worth about $2,190,000. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in Vertex Energy in the 3rd quarter worth about $1,767,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 26.40% of the company’s stock.

About Vertex Energy

Vertex Energy, Inc engages in the recycle of industrial waste streams and off-specification commercial chemical products. The firm focuses on the recycle of used motor oil and other petroleum by-products. It operates through the following segments: Black Oil, Refining and Marketing and Recovery. The Black Oil segment collects and purchases used motor oil from third-party generators, established network of local and regional collectors and sells used motor oil to customers for use as a feedstock or replacement fuel for industrial burners.

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