Ferro (NYSE:FOE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “FERRO CORP. is a worldwide producer of specialty materials for industry by organic and inorganic chemistry. It operates in 21 countries worldwide. Ferro produces a variety of specialty coatings, colors, ceramics, plastics, chemicals, and related products and services. Ferro’s most important product is frit produced for use in porcelain enamels and ceramic glazes. Ferro specialty materials require a high degree of technical service on an individual customer basis. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. ValuEngine downgraded Ferro from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Northcoast Research downgraded Ferro from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, April 1st. BMO Capital Markets downgraded Ferro from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $18.83 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, April 1st. KeyCorp cut their price objective on Ferro from $26.00 to $23.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Finally, Deutsche Bank reduced their target price on Ferro from $23.00 to $21.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $20.17.

Shares of NYSE:FOE traded up $0.89 on Tuesday, reaching $14.53. 603,400 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 974,481. Ferro has a fifty-two week low of $13.52 and a fifty-two week high of $23.88. The company has a market capitalization of $1.13 billion, a PE ratio of 9.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.34, a quick ratio of 1.47 and a current ratio of 2.55.

Ferro (NYSE:FOE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.22 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.21 by $0.01. Ferro had a return on equity of 30.06% and a net margin of 4.41%. The company had revenue of $387.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $396.60 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.36 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that Ferro will post 1.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Ferro news, CEO Peter T. Thomas bought 17,000 shares of Ferro stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 9th. The stock was bought at an average price of $15.92 per share, for a total transaction of $270,640.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 677,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,793,059.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Allen A. Spizzo bought 2,500 shares of Ferro stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 17th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $15.33 per share, with a total value of $38,325.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 5,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $76,650. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought 24,500 shares of company stock valued at $387,490 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 2.71% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ferro by 111.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,008,753 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $227,325,000 after purchasing an additional 6,341,126 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ferro by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 3,596,256 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $56,389,000 after purchasing an additional 333,140 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Ferro by 1.2% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,443,124 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $65,178,000 after purchasing an additional 40,825 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA lifted its holdings in shares of Ferro by 21.1% in the fourth quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 2,684,356 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $42,091,000 after purchasing an additional 467,836 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Ferro by 11.2% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,270,676 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $42,985,000 after purchasing an additional 228,960 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 97.67% of the company’s stock.

Ferro Company Profile

Ferro Corporation produces specialty materials in the United States and internationally. It operates through three segments: Performance Coatings, Performance Colors and Glass, and Color Solutions. The company offers frits, porcelain and other glass enamels, glazes, stains, decorating colors, pigments, inks, polishing materials, dielectrics, electronic glasses, and other specialty coatings.

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