Omega Protein Co. (NYSE:OME) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Omega Protein Corporation, headquartered in Houston, is one of the nation’s leading producers of edible fish oil, which is high in nutritionally desirable Omega-3 fatty acids and is used in a variety of food products. Omega Protein also produces specialty fish meals for use in livestock feeds, and fish solubles which are used as an organic fertilizer and in other applications. (Company Press Release) “

A number of other analysts have also commented on OME. Pivotal Research lowered shares of Omega Protein from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $30.00 to $24.00 in a research report on Thursday, March 2nd. Sidoti reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Omega Protein in a research report on Friday, March 31st. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, Omega Protein presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $26.00.

Omega Protein (NYSE:OME) traded down 2.56% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $19.00. 197,573 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $426.36 million, a P/E ratio of 13.98 and a beta of 0.29. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $19.63 and its 200 day moving average is $22.67. Omega Protein has a 1-year low of $18.00 and a 1-year high of $26.99.

Omega Protein (NYSE:OME) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 8th. The company reported $0.26 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.26. The business had revenue of $73.57 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $68.57 million. Omega Protein had a net margin of 8.11% and a return on equity of 14.39%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.40 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Omega Protein will post $1.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 25th will be given a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 23rd.

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Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Alambic Investment Management L.P. purchased a new stake in Omega Protein during the third quarter valued at about $245,000. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY raised its stake in Omega Protein by 4.3% in the third quarter. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY now owns 147,169 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,439,000 after buying an additional 6,014 shares during the period. Citadel Advisors LLC raised its stake in Omega Protein by 123.5% in the third quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 58,624 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,370,000 after buying an additional 32,395 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in Omega Protein during the fourth quarter valued at about $3,093,000. Finally, Clark Capital Management Group Inc. raised its stake in Omega Protein by 12.1% in the fourth quarter. Clark Capital Management Group Inc. now owns 65,397 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,638,000 after buying an additional 7,043 shares during the period. 89.53% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Omega Protein

Omega Protein Corporation is a nutritional products company that develops, produces and delivers nutritious products. The Company operates through two segments: animal nutrition and human nutrition. The Company’s animal nutrition segment consists of two subsidiaries: Omega Protein, Inc (Omega Protein) and Omega Shipyard, Inc (Omega Shipyard).

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