Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage currently has $93.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Compass Minerals is the largest producer of rock, or highway deicing, salt in North America and the United Kingdom and operates the largest highway deicing salt mines in these regions. The company is also the third largest producer of general trade salt in North America and the second largest in the United Kingdom, serving major retailers, agricultural cooperatives and food producers. In addition, Compass is the largest producer of sulfate of potash in North America, which is used in the production of specialty fertilizers. “

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on CMP. TheStreet raised shares of Compass Minerals International from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, November 21st. Monness Crespi & Hardt set a $63.00 price target on shares of Compass Minerals International and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 5th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Compass Minerals International presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $77.63.

Analyst Recommendations for Compass Minerals International (NYSE:CMP)

Compass Minerals International (NYSE:CMP) traded up 0.68% during trading on Thursday, reaching $81.45. The company had a trading volume of 229,190 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.39 and a beta of 0.53. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $79.58 and a 200-day moving average of $74.51. Compass Minerals International has a 12-month low of $66.30 and a 12-month high of $82.55.

Compass Minerals International (NYSE:CMP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 24th. The company reported $0.27 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.01. Compass Minerals International had a net margin of 12.55% and a return on equity of 18.34%. The company had revenue of $179.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $207.25 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.80 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 22.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Compass Minerals International will post $2.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 1st were issued a dividend of $0.695 per share. This represents a $2.78 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.41%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 29th. Compass Minerals International’s payout ratio is 76.58%.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Compass Minerals International by 187.3% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,019,757 shares of the company’s stock valued at $75,156,000 after buying an additional 664,763 shares during the last quarter. Parnassus Investments CA raised its position in shares of Compass Minerals International by 10.4% in the third quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 2,776,676 shares of the company’s stock valued at $204,641,000 after buying an additional 261,750 shares during the last quarter. RS Investment Management Co. LLC raised its position in shares of Compass Minerals International by 106.0% in the second quarter. RS Investment Management Co. LLC now owns 500,093 shares of the company’s stock valued at $37,102,000 after buying an additional 257,312 shares during the last quarter. Perkins Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Compass Minerals International by 12.3% in the third quarter. Perkins Investment Management LLC now owns 2,249,226 shares of the company’s stock valued at $165,768,000 after buying an additional 245,669 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp acquired a new position in shares of Compass Minerals International during the second quarter valued at about $16,637,000.

About Compass Minerals International

Compass Minerals International, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in producing and marketing essential minerals, including salt, sulfate of potash (SOP) specialty fertilizer, magnesium chloride and micronutrients. It operates through two segments, which include salt and plant nutrition.

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