Raymond James Upgrades Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) to Strong-Buy


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Raymond James upgraded shares of Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) from an outperform rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Analyst Price Targets reports. They currently have $24.00 price target on the basic materials company’s stock, up from their prior price target of $18.00.

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on MERC. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Mercer International from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, February 18th. TheStreet raised Mercer International from a d+ rating to a c- rating in a report on Monday, March 1st. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price target on Mercer International from $11.00 to $15.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a report on Thursday, February 25th. TD Securities lifted their price target on Mercer International from $15.00 to $16.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 18th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $18.00 price target (up previously from $16.00) on shares of Mercer International in a report on Tuesday, March 23rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Mercer International currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $16.00.

Shares of MERC stock opened at $15.65 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.81, a current ratio of 4.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.11. The business has a 50 day moving average of $14.71 and a two-hundred day moving average of $10.50. Mercer International has a 52 week low of $5.77 and a 52 week high of $16.70. The company has a market cap of $1.03 billion, a P/E ratio of -13.26 and a beta of 1.93.

Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 16th. The basic materials company reported ($0.20) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.05 by ($0.25). Mercer International had a negative net margin of 5.68% and a negative return on equity of 14.04%. The company had revenue of $398.20 million during the quarter. Analysts expect that Mercer International will post -0.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 31st were issued a dividend of $0.065 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, March 30th. This represents a $0.26 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.66%. Mercer International’s payout ratio is -325.00%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in Mercer International during the fourth quarter worth approximately $154,000. Sowell Financial Services LLC increased its holdings in shares of Mercer International by 73.3% in the fourth quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 15,463 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 6,540 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers increased its holdings in shares of Mercer International by 8.8% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 68,198 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $699,000 after buying an additional 5,523 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in shares of Mercer International by 4.0% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 96,082 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $634,000 after buying an additional 3,716 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Matarin Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Mercer International in the third quarter valued at $721,000. 74.17% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Mercer International

Mercer International Inc, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp in Europe, the United States, Asia, and internationally. It operates through two segments, Pulp and Wood Products. The company also generates and sells green energy produced from biomass cogeneration power plant to third party utilities.

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Analyst Recommendations for Mercer International (NASDAQ:MERC)

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