Ferro (NYSE:FOE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “FERRO CORP. is a worldwide producer of specialty materials for industry by organic and inorganic chemistry. It operates in 21 countries worldwide. Ferro produces a variety of specialty coatings, colors, ceramics, plastics, chemicals, and related products and services. Ferro’s most important product is frit produced for use in porcelain enamels and ceramic glazes. Ferro specialty materials require a high degree of technical service on an individual customer basis. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on FOE. KeyCorp reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $27.00 price target (up from $23.00) on shares of Ferro in a research note on Friday, October 13th. ValuEngine cut Ferro from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $23.80.

Shares of Ferro (FOE) opened at $23.91 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94, a quick ratio of 1.53 and a current ratio of 2.48. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,005.03, a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.11 and a beta of 1.94. Ferro has a 12 month low of $13.55 and a 12 month high of $25.50.

Ferro (NYSE:FOE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.31 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $350.01 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $332.28 million. Ferro had a return on equity of 35.77% and a net margin of 3.44%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 21.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.27 EPS. analysts anticipate that Ferro will post 1.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Ronald P. Vargo sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.13, for a total value of $289,560.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 43,450 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,048,448.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, General Counsel Mark Hugo Duesenberg sold 17,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.76, for a total value of $420,920.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 137,545 shares in the company, valued at $3,405,614.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 177,428 shares of company stock valued at $4,192,872. 2.02% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Sheets Smith Wealth Management acquired a new position in shares of Ferro in the fourth quarter valued at about $331,000. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC increased its holdings in shares of Ferro by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,529,897 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $36,044,000 after purchasing an additional 53,066 shares during the period. Algert Global LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ferro in the third quarter valued at about $2,233,000. Insight Capital Research & Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ferro in the third quarter valued at about $1,438,000. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ferro in the third quarter valued at about $401,000. 97.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Ferro

Ferro Corporation (Ferro) produces specialty materials that are sold to a range of manufacturers. The Company’s segments include Performance Coatings (metal and ceramic coatings), Performance Colors and Glass (glass coatings), and Color Solutions. Its Performance Coatings segment includes Tile Coating Systems and Porcelain Enamel.

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