Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) has been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the six brokerages that are covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $15.25.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on MERC. BidaskClub raised shares of Mercer International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 19th. TD Securities boosted their price objective on shares of Mercer International from $13.00 to $15.75 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st.

Mercer International (NASDAQ MERC) traded up 0.47% during trading on Friday, hitting $10.60. The company had a trading volume of 117,411 shares. The company has a market cap of $688.71 million, a PE ratio of 18.06 and a beta of 1.54. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $10.97 and its 200-day moving average price is $11.43. Mercer International has a 12 month low of $7.60 and a 12 month high of $12.98.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 4th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 27th will be given a dividend of $0.115 per share. This represents a $0.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.34%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 26th. Mercer International’s dividend payout ratio is presently 79.31%.

In other Mercer International news, major shareholder Peter R. Kellogg acquired 93,446 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 14th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $11.52 per share, with a total value of $1,076,497.92. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 150,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,728,000. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director James Shepherd sold 4,560 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $10.91, for a total transaction of $49,749.60. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 31,450 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $343,119.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have purchased 192,209 shares of company stock valued at $2,209,760 and have sold 97,560 shares valued at $1,086,160. 4.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MERC. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Mercer International by 274.0% in the 1st quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 338,684 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,963,000 after purchasing an additional 248,130 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors grew its position in Mercer International by 1,193.8% in the 1st quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 186,300 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,180,000 after purchasing an additional 171,900 shares during the last quarter. Walthausen & Co. LLC grew its position in Mercer International by 8.1% in the 2nd quarter. Walthausen & Co. LLC now owns 1,051,619 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $12,094,000 after purchasing an additional 79,242 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its position in Mercer International by 22.2% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 314,654 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,618,000 after purchasing an additional 57,063 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in Mercer International by 11.0% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 240,556 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,767,000 after purchasing an additional 23,872 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.15% of the company’s stock.

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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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