Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday, March 19th.

According to Zacks, “Green Plains Inc. is vertically integrated producer, marketer and distributer of ethanol. The company operates through four segments: Ethanol Production, Corn Oil Production, Agribusiness, and Marketing and Distribution. It produces ethanol and co-products, such as wet, modified wet or dried distillers grains, as well as extracts non-edible corn oil. The company is also involved in buying and selling bulk grain primarily corn and soybeans. Green Plains Inc., formerly known as Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc., is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. “

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A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Green Plains from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. ValuEngine raised shares of Green Plains from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, March 1st. Finally, Piper Jaffray reissued a buy rating and set a $27.00 target price on shares of Green Plains in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $26.20.

GPRE traded up $0.85 during trading on Monday, hitting $17.10. The company had a trading volume of 549,163 shares, compared to its average volume of 662,468. The stock has a market capitalization of $675.37, a PE ratio of -19.88, a P/E/G ratio of 3.11 and a beta of 1.39. Green Plains has a 1-year low of $15.60 and a 1-year high of $26.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 1.36 and a quick ratio of 0.56.

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported ($0.16) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.17) by $0.01. The company had revenue of $920.98 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $953.30 million. Green Plains had a net margin of 1.70% and a negative return on equity of 3.33%. The firm’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.47 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Green Plains will post 0.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd were given a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.81%. Green Plains’s dividend payout ratio is currently -55.81%.

In other news, EVP Michael A. Metzler sold 21,053 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.00, for a total transaction of $400,007.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 41,771 shares in the company, valued at $793,649. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michelle Mapes sold 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.27, for a total transaction of $134,890.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 35,515 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $684,374.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of GPRE. Van ECK Associates Corp lifted its stake in Green Plains by 70.0% during the third quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 3,588,878 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $72,316,000 after buying an additional 1,478,073 shares in the last quarter. Mangrove Partners purchased a new stake in Green Plains during the fourth quarter valued at about $15,809,000. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. purchased a new stake in Green Plains during the fourth quarter valued at about $9,045,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in Green Plains by 65.5% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 986,647 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $19,734,000 after buying an additional 390,572 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Green Plains by 5.6% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,245,101 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $88,382,000 after buying an additional 276,910 shares in the last quarter.

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Green Plains Company Profile

Green Plains Inc produces, markets, and distributes ethanol in the United States and internationally. The company operates through four segments: Ethanol Production; Agribusiness and Energy Services; Food and Ingredients; and Partnership. The Ethanol Production segment produces and sells ethanol, distiller grains, and corn oil.

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