Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Platform Specialty Products (NYSE:PAH) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Platform Specialty has outperformed the industry it belongs to over the past six months. Platform Specialty should gain from higher demand for its electronics solutions portfolio. The company is also witnessing improved organic sales. Moreover, it remains focused on growing through strategic acquisitions. However, Platform Specialty is exposed to raw material inflation which may hurt its margins. The company’s high debt level is another concern. Poor weather conditions and softness in Europe are also affecting its Agricultural business.”

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on PAH. Citigroup downgraded Platform Specialty Products from a buy rating to a neutral rating and raised their price target for the company from $13.00 to $14.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. ValuEngine raised Platform Specialty Products from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, July 12th. Morgan Stanley set a $12.00 price target on Platform Specialty Products and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, June 7th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Platform Specialty Products from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, July 23rd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $13.33.

Platform Specialty Products stock traded down $0.01 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $12.58. 4,974 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,288,811. Platform Specialty Products has a fifty-two week low of $9.09 and a fifty-two week high of $13.54. The company has a market capitalization of $3.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.57, a P/E/G ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 3.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.07, a current ratio of 2.11 and a quick ratio of 1.62.

Platform Specialty Products (NYSE:PAH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.02. Platform Specialty Products had a positive return on equity of 9.15% and a negative net margin of 4.08%. The business had revenue of $1 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $997.27 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.20 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts anticipate that Platform Specialty Products will post 0.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Scot Benson bought 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 23rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $12.56 per share, with a total value of $75,360.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now owns 85,456 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,073,327.36. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Pershing Square Capital Manage bought 9,968,304 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 6th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $12.10 per share, with a total value of $120,616,478.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought 10,281,137 shares of company stock valued at $124,380,356 in the last three months. Insiders own 5.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of PAH. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in Platform Specialty Products by 99.3% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,409,457 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $13,573,000 after acquiring an additional 702,328 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank raised its stake in Platform Specialty Products by 2.2% in the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 399,289 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $3,845,000 after acquiring an additional 8,600 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Platform Specialty Products by 21.6% in the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,344,682 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $12,950,000 after acquiring an additional 238,610 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC raised its stake in Platform Specialty Products by 45.4% in the 1st quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 43,802 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $422,000 after acquiring an additional 13,673 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC purchased a new position in Platform Specialty Products in the 1st quarter worth $113,000. 95.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Platform Specialty Products

Platform Specialty Products Corporation produces and sells specialty chemical products worldwide. It operates through two segments, Performance Solutions and Agricultural Solutions. The Performance Solutions segment offers a range of specialty chemicals, such as surface and coating materials, functional conversion coatings, electronic assembly materials, water-based hydraulic control fluids, and photopolymers.

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