Pacific Ethanol Inc (NASDAQ:PEIX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Pacific Ethanol, Inc. is currently in the business of marketing ethanol in the Western United States through Kinergy Marketing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and the largest West Coast-based marketer of renewable fuels. The Company intends, in the near future, to construct an ethanol production facility at its Madera County, California, site. “

Separately, Roth Capital set a $12.00 price target on shares of Pacific Ethanol and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Pacific Ethanol has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $11.33.

Shares of Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) opened at 7.15 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $6.86 and its 200-day moving average price is $7.71. The company has a market capitalization of $309.96 million, a PE ratio of 1787.50 and a beta of 2.14. Pacific Ethanol has a 12-month low of $4.09 and a 12-month high of $10.95.

Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 9th. The oil and gas company reported ($0.31) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.04) by $0.27. Pacific Ethanol had a negative return on equity of 3.12% and a negative net margin of 0.80%. The company had revenue of $386.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $385.81 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned ($0.32) EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Pacific Ethanol will post $0.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, major shareholder Candlewood Investment Group, L sold 1,420,251 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $6.70, for a total transaction of $9,515,681.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 3.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Chicago Equity Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol during the third quarter worth about $1,703,000. Alambic Investment Management L.P. bought a new position in Pacific Ethanol during the third quarter worth $153,000. Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Pacific Ethanol during the third quarter worth $892,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new position in Pacific Ethanol during the fourth quarter worth $1,671,000. Finally, Hapanowicz & Associates Financial Services Inc bought a new position in Pacific Ethanol during the fourth quarter worth $244,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.52% of the company’s stock.

Pacific Ethanol Company Profile

Pacific Ethanol, Inc (Pacific Ethanol) is a marketer and producer of low-carbon renewable fuels in the Western United States. Pacific Ethanol markets all the ethanol produced by four ethanol production facilities located in California, Idaho and Oregon, or the Pacific Ethanol Plants, all the ethanol produced by three other ethanol producers in the Western United States and ethanol purchased from other third-party suppliers throughout the United States.

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