StealthGas (NASDAQ:GASS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “StealthGas Inc is a provider of international seaborne transportation services to LPG producers and users. The Company’s vessels carry various petroleum and petrochemical gas products in liquefied form, including propane, butane, butadiene, isopropane, propylene and vinyl chloride monomer, which are all byproducts of the production of oil and natural gas. These products are transported in liquefied form in order to reduce their volume and to facilitate their handling. Transportation by sea represents a major element of gas transportation logistics. LPG products have a variety of both industrial and other uses, including transportation, fertilizer production, the manufacture of plastics, space heating, cooking, water heating and process heating. We serve industrial companies, as well as national and independent energy companies and energy traders. “

Separately, ValuEngine downgraded shares of StealthGas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 26th.

GASS stock traded up $0.05 on Wednesday, hitting $3.10. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 5,863 shares, compared to its average volume of 50,466. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $3.41 and a two-hundred day moving average of $3.41. StealthGas has a 1 year low of $2.73 and a 1 year high of $4.18. The stock has a market cap of $124.39 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 100.67 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a current ratio of 1.15, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.

StealthGas (NASDAQ:GASS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 22nd. The shipping company reported $0.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.01) by $0.02. The company had revenue of $29.94 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $33.79 million. StealthGas had a negative net margin of 2.81% and a positive return on equity of 0.11%. As a group, equities analysts forecast that StealthGas will post 0.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, major shareholder Opportunities Fund L. Glendon purchased 95,627 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 1st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $3.42 per share, with a total value of $327,044.34. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Glendon Capital Management Lp purchased 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 27th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $3.36 per share, with a total value of $168,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in StealthGas by 71.5% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 29,544 shares of the shipping company’s stock worth $81,000 after buying an additional 12,321 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of StealthGas in the fourth quarter valued at about $41,000. Towerview LLC boosted its holdings in shares of StealthGas by 7.9% in the second quarter. Towerview LLC now owns 580,000 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $1,995,000 after acquiring an additional 42,525 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of StealthGas in the second quarter valued at about $34,000. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of StealthGas by 18.2% during the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 2,985,339 shares of the shipping company’s stock worth $10,267,000 after acquiring an additional 460,335 shares during the period. 58.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About StealthGas

StealthGas Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides seaborne transportation services to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) producers and users worldwide. It also provides crude oil and product carriers chartered to oil producers, refiners, and commodities traders. The company's carriers carry various petroleum gas products in liquefied form, including propane, butane, butadiene, isopropane, propylene, and vinyl chloride monomer; and refined petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, and jet fuel, as well as edible oils and chemicals.

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