Vertex Energy, Inc (NASDAQ:VTNR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Vertex Energy, Inc. operates as an environmental services company that recycles industrial waste streams and off-specification commercial chemical products. Its primary focus is recycling used motor oil and other petroleum by-product streams. Vertex operates in three divisions: Black Oil Division, Refining and Marketing Division and Thermal Chemical Extraction Process. The Company also manages the transport, storage and delivery of the aggregated feedstock and product streams to end users, and manages the re-refining of a portion of its aggregated petroleum streams in order to sell them as end products. It sells its aggregated petroleum streams as feedstock to other re-refineries and fuel blenders or as replacement fuel for use in industrial burners. Vertex Energy, Inc. is based in Houston, Texas. “

VTNR has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine cut shares of Vertex Energy from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Roth Capital set a $1.00 price objective on shares of Vertex Energy and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd.

Shares of Vertex Energy (NASDAQ:VTNR) opened at 0.783 on Wednesday. The stock’s market cap is $25.57 million. Vertex Energy has a 1-year low of $0.65 and a 1-year high of $1.80. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $0.76 and its 200-day moving average is $0.95.

Vertex Energy (NASDAQ:VTNR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The industrial products company reported ($0.08) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.04) by ($0.04). Vertex Energy had a negative net margin of 6.49% and a negative return on equity of 23.10%. The company had revenue of $36.91 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.00 million. On average, analysts predict that Vertex Energy will post ($0.31) EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in VTNR. Benchmark Capital Advisors lifted its stake in shares of Vertex Energy by 44.4% in the first quarter. Benchmark Capital Advisors now owns 347,769 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $678,000 after purchasing an additional 107,000 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP lifted its stake in shares of Vertex Energy by 47.7% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,491,653 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,909,000 after purchasing an additional 481,933 shares during the period. Ardsley Advisory Partners acquired a new stake in shares of Vertex Energy in the third quarter valued at about $2,962,000. Redmond Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Vertex Energy by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Redmond Asset Management LLC now owns 701,292 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $919,000 after purchasing an additional 2,960 shares during the period. Finally, STA Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Vertex Energy by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. STA Wealth Management LLC now owns 233,666 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $306,000 after purchasing an additional 10,000 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 16.80% of the company’s stock.

About Vertex Energy

Vertex Energy, Inc is an environmental services company that recycles industrial waste streams and off-specification commercial chemical products. The Company focuses on recycling used motor oil and other petroleum by-products. The Company’s segments include the Black Oil, Refining and Marketing, and Recovery divisions.

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