W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders bought 12,700 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 573% compared to the typical volume of 1,888 call options.

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE GRA) opened at 72.57 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $4.95 billion, a PE ratio of 35.33 and a beta of 1.11. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $71.61 and a 200 day moving average price of $70.36. W.R. Grace & Co. has a 52-week low of $63.37 and a 52-week high of $74.63.

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.84 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.04. W.R. Grace & Co. had a return on equity of 43.88% and a net margin of 8.20%. The company had revenue of $429.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $407.72 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.74 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that W.R. Grace & Co. will post $3.37 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 17th were given a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 15th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.16%. W.R. Grace & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.21%.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. BidaskClub cut W.R. Grace & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Loop Capital assumed coverage on W.R. Grace & Co. in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $81.00 price target for the company. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of W.R. Grace & Co. in a research note on Friday, June 16th. KeyCorp restated a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 price target on shares of W.R. Grace & Co. in a research note on Sunday, September 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded W.R. Grace & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. W.R. Grace & Co. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $79.55.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its position in W.R. Grace & Co. by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 7,814 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $562,000 after acquiring an additional 101 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its position in W.R. Grace & Co. by 5.6% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,487 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $179,000 after acquiring an additional 133 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE boosted its position in W.R. Grace & Co. by 7.2% during the 1st quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,284 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $159,000 after acquiring an additional 154 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in W.R. Grace & Co. by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 4,553 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $328,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the period. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its position in W.R. Grace & Co. by 5.1% during the 2nd quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 5,533 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $398,000 after acquiring an additional 267 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 84.69% of the company’s stock.

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W.R. Grace & Co. Company Profile

W. R. Grace & Co (Grace) is engaged in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and specialty materials. The Company operates in two segments: Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment includes catalysts and related products and technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications.

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