USG (USG) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

USG (NYSE:USG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “USG Corp., through its subsidiaries, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of building materials producing a wide range of products for use in new residential, new nonresidential and repair and remodel construction, as well as products used in certain industrial processes. USG’s operations are organized into three operating segments: North American Gypsum, Worldwide Ceilings and Building Products Distribution. “

A number of other equities analysts have also commented on USG. Citigroup restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $34.00 price target (up from $31.00) on shares of USG in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Robert W. Baird boosted their price target on shares of USG from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and issued a $33.00 price target on shares of USG in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Bank of America lowered shares of USG from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Barclays boosted their price target on shares of USG from $26.00 to $31.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. USG currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $37.29.

Shares of USG (USG) traded up $0.21 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $34.36. 1,106,755 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,722,934. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54, a quick ratio of 1.73 and a current ratio of 2.37. USG has a 1-year low of $25.60 and a 1-year high of $41.18. The firm has a market cap of $5,052.05, a price-to-earnings ratio of 54.45, a P/E/G ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.16.

USG (NYSE:USG) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The construction company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $831.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $757.57 million. USG had a net margin of 2.96% and a return on equity of 13.36%. The firm’s revenue was up 13.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.44 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that USG will post 2.27 earnings per share for the current year.

USG declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the construction company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other USG news, CEO Jennifer F. Scanlon sold 6,045 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.54, for a total value of $226,929.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 85,429 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,207,004.66. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider John M. Reale sold 7,535 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.89, for a total transaction of $285,501.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 28,992 shares of company stock valued at $1,093,870. Insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Alps Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of USG during the fourth quarter worth approximately $479,000. Barnett & Company Inc. raised its stake in shares of USG by 5.5% during the fourth quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. now owns 36,700 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,415,000 after buying an additional 1,900 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of USG by 45.8% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 5,351 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $206,000 after buying an additional 1,681 shares during the last quarter. Mesirow Financial Investment Management Equity Management raised its stake in shares of USG by 21.5% during the fourth quarter. Mesirow Financial Investment Management Equity Management now owns 42,975 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,657,000 after buying an additional 7,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Arthur M. Cohen & Associates LLC bought a new stake in shares of USG during the fourth quarter worth approximately $412,000. 85.70% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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USG Company Profile

USG Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is a manufacturer and distributor of building materials. The Company’s segments include Gypsum, Ceilings and USG Boral Building Products (UBBP). It produces a range of products for use in new residential, new nonresidential, and residential and nonresidential repair and remodel construction, as well as products used in certain industrial processes.

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