W. R. Grace & Co. Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (NYSE:GRA)


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W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock traders acquired 732 put options on the company. This is an increase of 1,256% compared to the average daily volume of 54 put options.

GRA has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $69.00 price target on shares of W. R. Grace & Co. in a report on Monday, March 22nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of W. R. Grace & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 26th. Finally, CL King raised their price objective on shares of W. R. Grace & Co. from $67.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 19th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.00.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co. by 74.6% during the 4th quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 3,007,620 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $164,874,000 after buying an additional 1,285,172 shares in the last quarter. Lyrical Asset Management LP raised its position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co. by 2.8% during the 4th quarter. Lyrical Asset Management LP now owns 1,934,772 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $106,064,000 after buying an additional 52,538 shares in the last quarter. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC raised its position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co. by 4.8% during the 4th quarter. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC now owns 379,594 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $20,809,000 after buying an additional 17,508 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co. by 28.4% during the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 355,393 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $19,482,000 after buying an additional 78,596 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of W. R. Grace & Co. by 0.6% during the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 131,304 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $7,198,000 after buying an additional 754 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.76% of the company’s stock.

NYSE GRA opened at $63.21 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.18 billion, a PE ratio of 301.00 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $60.14 and a 200-day simple moving average of $54.43. W. R. Grace & Co. has a one year low of $35.28 and a one year high of $64.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 6.20, a quick ratio of 1.17 and a current ratio of 1.68.

W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $470.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $466.18 million. W. R. Grace & Co. had a net margin of 0.76% and a return on equity of 55.80%. W. R. Grace & Co.’s quarterly revenue was down 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.31 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that W. R. Grace & Co. will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 23rd. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 2nd were given a $0.33 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 1st. This is an increase from W. R. Grace & Co.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.09%. W. R. Grace & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 30.14%.

W. R. Grace & Co. Company Profile

W. R. Grace & Co, through its subsidiaries, produces and sells specialty chemicals and materials worldwide. It operates through two segments, Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment offers fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts for the production of transportation fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuels, and petrochemicals; and FCC additives.

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