W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock traders acquired 2,016 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,176% compared to the typical volume of 158 put options.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on GRA. ValuEngine cut shares of W. R. Grace & Co from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, August 20th. Seaport Global Securities reissued a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective on shares of W. R. Grace & Co in a report on Tuesday, July 31st. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on shares of W. R. Grace & Co from $82.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on shares of W. R. Grace & Co from $84.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. Finally, KeyCorp boosted their price objective on shares of W. R. Grace & Co from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $84.44.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in W. R. Grace & Co by 15.2% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,308,017 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $325,007,000 after buying an additional 701,928 shares during the last quarter. Echo Street Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in W. R. Grace & Co by 36.8% during the first quarter. Echo Street Capital Management LLC now owns 1,173,173 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $71,833,000 after buying an additional 315,426 shares during the last quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. increased its holdings in W. R. Grace & Co by 0.8% during the second quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. now owns 547,160 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $40,112,000 after buying an additional 4,310 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in W. R. Grace & Co by 8.0% during the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 328,597 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $20,120,000 after buying an additional 24,219 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its holdings in W. R. Grace & Co by 4.0% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 209,957 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $12,856,000 after buying an additional 8,059 shares during the last quarter. 85.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of GRA stock opened at $71.57 on Wednesday. W. R. Grace & Co has a 12 month low of $58.48 and a 12 month high of $77.37. The company has a market cap of $4.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 6.66, a current ratio of 1.57 and a quick ratio of 0.96.

W. R. Grace & Co (NYSE:GRA) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.07 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.12. W. R. Grace & Co had a net margin of 0.38% and a return on equity of 84.83%. The business had revenue of $485.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $472.76 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.84 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 13.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that W. R. Grace & Co will post 3.97 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 16th were issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 15th. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.34%. W. R. Grace & Co’s dividend payout ratio is currently 28.24%.

W. R. Grace & Co Company Profile

W. R. Grace & Co produces and sells specialty chemicals and materials worldwide. It operates through two segments, Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment offers fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts for the production of transportation fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuels, and other petroleum-based products; FCC additives; and methanol-to-olefins catalysts for the conversion of methanol into petrochemical feeds, including ethylene and propylene.

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