Shares of U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) have earned an average rating of “Buy” from the twenty-two brokerages that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, two have assigned a hold recommendation and nineteen have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $50.32.

SLCA has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. BidaskClub upgraded shares of U.S. Silica from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, September 23rd. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price objective (up from $35.00) on shares of U.S. Silica in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of U.S. Silica from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. KeyCorp reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $40.00 price objective on shares of U.S. Silica in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $55.00 price objective on shares of U.S. Silica and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, October 7th.

In related news, EVP Bradford B. Casper sold 8,700 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.21, for a total transaction of $297,627.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 18,593 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $636,066.53. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Bryan Adair Shinn bought 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $31.30 per share, with a total value of $125,200.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 88,807 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,779,659.10. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have purchased 7,900 shares of company stock valued at $256,063. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of SLCA. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in U.S. Silica by 13.9% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 408,530 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $14,499,000 after acquiring an additional 49,767 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank grew its position in U.S. Silica by 2.5% in the second quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 135,050 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $4,793,000 after acquiring an additional 3,300 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in U.S. Silica by 89.7% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 237,090 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $8,415,000 after acquiring an additional 112,120 shares in the last quarter. AXA acquired a new stake in U.S. Silica in the second quarter valued at approximately $355,000. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its position in U.S. Silica by 69.0% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 4,226 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $150,000 after acquiring an additional 1,726 shares in the last quarter.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) traded down $0.25 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $38.00. 1,307,300 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,178,578. The stock has a market cap of $3,060.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.50 and a beta of 2.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 3.26 and a current ratio of 3.67. U.S. Silica has a 52 week low of $24.26 and a 52 week high of $61.49.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last released its earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The mining company reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $345.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $328.91 million. U.S. Silica had a net margin of 6.24% and a return on equity of 5.73%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 150.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned ($0.13) EPS. equities analysts predict that U.S. Silica will post 1.51 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.063 per share. This represents a $0.25 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.66%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. U.S. Silica’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 31.25%.

U.S. Silica announced that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, November 6th that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the mining company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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About U.S. Silica

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc is a domestic producer of commercial silica, a specialized mineral that is an input into a range of end markets. The Company operates in two segments: Oil & Gas Proppants, and Industrial & Specialty Products. In the Oil & Gas Proppants segment, it serves the oil and gas recovery market providing fracturing sand, or frac sand, which is pumped down oil and natural gas wells to prop open rock fissures and manage the flow rate of natural gas and oil from the wells.

Analyst Recommendations for U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA)

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