Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Green Plains Inc. is vertically integrated producer, marketer and distributer of ethanol. The company operates through four segments: Ethanol Production, Corn Oil Production, Agribusiness, and Marketing and Distribution. It produces ethanol and co-products, such as wet, modified wet or dried distillers grains, as well as extracts non-edible corn oil. The company is also involved in buying and selling bulk grain primarily corn and soybeans. Green Plains Inc., formerly known as Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc., is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. “

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on GPRE. BidaskClub raised Green Plains from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. ValuEngine raised Green Plains from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. TheStreet raised Green Plains from a “d+” rating to a “c” rating in a report on Monday, February 11th. Roth Capital lowered their target price on Green Plains from $25.00 to $16.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, February 11th. Finally, Craig Hallum lowered their target price on Green Plains from $24.00 to $19.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $18.33.

GPRE stock traded up $0.07 on Thursday, reaching $16.25. 835,742 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 621,853. Green Plains has a twelve month low of $12.00 and a twelve month high of $21.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $648.42 million, a PE ratio of -7.49 and a beta of 1.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 1.45 and a quick ratio of 0.57.

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 11th. The specialty chemicals company reported ($0.96) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.07) by ($0.89). Green Plains had a negative return on equity of 8.63% and a net margin of 0.41%. The business had revenue of $827.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $894.16 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned ($0.16) EPS. The company’s revenue was down 10.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Green Plains will post -0.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Green Plains news, EVP Paul E. Kolomaya sold 7,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.02, for a total value of $116,145.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 89,635 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,435,952.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael A. Metzler sold 17,052 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.35, for a total value of $261,748.20. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 44,194 shares in the company, valued at approximately $678,377.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 89,745 shares of company stock worth $1,247,439 in the last three months. 5.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of GPRE. Rubric Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in Green Plains in the third quarter valued at $38,700,000. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Green Plains during the fourth quarter valued at $9,877,000. Highbridge Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Green Plains during the fourth quarter valued at $8,731,000. Penn Capital Management Co. Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Green Plains during the fourth quarter valued at $2,684,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Green Plains by 2.2% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,428,399 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $110,568,000 after acquiring an additional 135,423 shares during the last quarter.

About Green Plains

Green Plains Inc produces, markets, and distributes ethanol in the United States and internationally. The company operates through four segments: Ethanol Production; Agribusiness and Energy Services; Food and Ingredients; and Partnership. The Ethanol Production segment produces and sells ethanol, distiller grains, and corn oil.

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