Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Ferro (FOE) to Hold

Ferro (NYSE:FOE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “FERRO CORP. is a worldwide producer of specialty materials for industry by organic and inorganic chemistry. It operates in 21 countries worldwide. Ferro produces a variety of specialty coatings, colors, ceramics, plastics, chemicals, and related products and services. Ferro’s most important product is frit produced for use in porcelain enamels and ceramic glazes. Ferro specialty materials require a high degree of technical service on an individual customer basis. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on FOE. ValuEngine downgraded Ferro from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. KeyCorp reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $27.00 price objective (up previously from $23.00) on shares of Ferro in a research report on Friday, October 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $23.80.

Shares of Ferro (NYSE:FOE) traded down $0.20 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $23.91. The company had a trading volume of 338,328 shares, compared to its average volume of 374,403. The company has a quick ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 2.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94. Ferro has a one year low of $13.55 and a one year high of $25.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,005.02, a P/E ratio of 18.68 and a beta of 1.94.

Ferro (NYSE:FOE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.02. Ferro had a return on equity of 35.77% and a net margin of 3.44%. The company had revenue of $350.01 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $332.28 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.27 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 21.3% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Ferro will post 1.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Ferro news, Director Ronald P. Vargo sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.13, for a total transaction of $289,560.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 43,450 shares in the company, valued at $1,048,448.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, General Counsel Mark Hugo Duesenberg sold 18,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.89, for a total value of $430,020.00. Following the sale, the general counsel now owns 130,545 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,118,720.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 177,428 shares of company stock worth $4,192,872 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 2.02% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Intrust Bank NA purchased a new position in shares of Ferro in the third quarter worth about $210,000. Prudential Financial Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ferro in the third quarter worth about $217,000. Amalgamated Bank increased its holdings in shares of Ferro by 5.5% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 10,767 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $197,000 after buying an additional 564 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Ferro by 1.0% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 11,652 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $213,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the period. Finally, TIAA FSB purchased a new position in shares of Ferro in the second quarter worth about $256,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.26% of the company’s stock.

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About Ferro

Ferro Corporation (Ferro) produces specialty materials that are sold to a range of manufacturers. The Company’s segments include Performance Coatings (metal and ceramic coatings), Performance Colors and Glass (glass coatings), and Color Solutions. Its Performance Coatings segment includes Tile Coating Systems and Porcelain Enamel.

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