Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) was downgraded by equities research analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on MERC. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Mercer International from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $14.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of Mercer International in a report on Friday, April 28th. TD Securities reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of Mercer International in a report on Monday, May 1st. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $12.00 price target on shares of Mercer International in a report on Tuesday, May 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $14.94.

Mercer International (MERC) opened at 10.75 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $11.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $11.67. Mercer International has a 12 month low of $7.60 and a 12 month high of $12.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $698.46 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.31 and a beta of 1.57.

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In other news, Director Eric Lauritzen sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.15, for a total transaction of $66,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 79,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $886,425. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder Peter R. Kellogg acquired 29,214 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $11.29 per share, with a total value of $329,826.06. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now owns 124,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,399,960. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders acquired 373,891 shares of company stock valued at $4,266,380 and sold 29,560 shares valued at $345,830. Insiders own 4.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Mercer International by 2,667.4% in the first quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 14,667 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $172,000 after buying an additional 14,137 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its stake in Mercer International by 17.8% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 17,824 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $209,000 after buying an additional 2,689 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Group LLC increased its stake in Mercer International by 2.4% in the first quarter. Renaissance Group LLC now owns 35,579 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $416,000 after buying an additional 847 shares during the last quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Mercer International by 1.1% in the first quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC now owns 42,870 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $502,000 after buying an additional 468 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its stake in Mercer International by 1,193.8% in the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 186,300 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,180,000 after buying an additional 171,900 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.42% of the company’s stock.

Mercer International Company Profile

Mercer International Inc is a producer of northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp, which is pulp that is sold on the open market. The Company also produces and sells tall oil, a by-product of its production process, which is used as both a chemical additive and as a green energy source. It produces and sells NBSK pulp, which is a bleached kraft pulp manufactured using northern softwood.

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