Zacks Investment Research Upgrades PQ Group (NYSE:PQG) to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of PQ Group (NYSE:PQG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $18.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “PQ Group Holdings Inc. is an integrated, provider of catalysts, specialty materials and chemicals and services. It operates primarily in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. The company serves refinery, emissions control and petrochemical industries. PQ Group Holdings Inc. is based in MALVERN, United States. “

Shares of NYSE:PQG opened at $15.90 on Wednesday. PQ Group has a 12 month low of $13.28 and a 12 month high of $18.54. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $15.81. The company has a current ratio of 2.17, a quick ratio of 1.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28. The company has a market cap of $2.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.28, a P/E/G ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.68.

PQ Group (NYSE:PQG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 9th. The company reported $0.13 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.12 by $0.01. PQ Group had a net margin of 3.83% and a return on equity of 6.82%. The firm had revenue of $359.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $367.89 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.16 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that PQ Group will post 0.82 EPS for the current year.

In other PQ Group news, insider Ray Kolberg sold 12,077 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.87, for a total transaction of $191,661.99. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 2.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can bought a new stake in PQ Group during the 4th quarter worth about $62,000. Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in PQ Group by 21.5% during the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 6,775 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 1,201 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its holdings in PQ Group by 262.4% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 8,465 shares of the company’s stock worth $128,000 after acquiring an additional 6,129 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in PQ Group during the 1st quarter worth about $144,000. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its holdings in PQ Group by 294.6% during the 4th quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 10,670 shares of the company’s stock worth $158,000 after acquiring an additional 7,966 shares during the last quarter. 68.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

PQ Group Company Profile

PQ Group Holdings Inc provides catalysts, specialty materials and chemicals, and services in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Environmental Catalysts and Services; and Performance Materials and Chemicals. It primarily offers refinery catalysts, emissions control catalysts, and catalyst recycling services for fuels and emission controls use; silica gels for edible oil and beer clarification; precipitated silicas and zeolites for the surface coating, dentifrice, and dishwasher and laundry detergent applications; reflective markings for roadways and airports; and hollow glass beads or microspheres for cement additive, metal finishing, and oil well cement uses.

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