U.S. Silica Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:SLCA)

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U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Investors acquired 8,891 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,138% compared to the average volume of 718 call options.

Shares of NYSE:SLCA opened at $11.86 on Friday. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $12.11 and its 200-day moving average price is $13.68. U.S. Silica has a 12-month low of $9.30 and a 12-month high of $23.43. The stock has a market capitalization of $868.98 million, a P/E ratio of 7.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.20 and a beta of 2.60. The company has a current ratio of 1.79, a quick ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The mining company reported $0.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.05) by $0.19. The company had revenue of $394.85 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $396.72 million. U.S. Silica had a negative net margin of 16.92% and a positive return on equity of 6.49%. U.S. Silica’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.64 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts predict that U.S. Silica will post 0.18 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.063 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 12th. This represents a $0.25 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.12%. U.S. Silica’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.82%.

Several research firms recently commented on SLCA. Cowen reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $20.00 price objective (down previously from $22.00) on shares of U.S. Silica in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Citigroup set a $14.00 target price on U.S. Silica and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on U.S. Silica from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 12th. Bank of America set a $15.00 target price on U.S. Silica and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded U.S. Silica from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $21.50.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 5.7% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,225,903 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $105,209,000 after purchasing an additional 440,219 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in U.S. Silica by 17.9% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,616,371 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $46,997,000 after buying an additional 699,673 shares during the period. Senvest Management LLC lifted its holdings in U.S. Silica by 17.0% in the second quarter. Senvest Management LLC now owns 4,068,781 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $52,040,000 after buying an additional 590,609 shares during the period. SG Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in U.S. Silica by 348.4% in the second quarter. SG Capital Management LLC now owns 1,659,802 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $21,229,000 after buying an additional 1,289,644 shares during the period. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its holdings in U.S. Silica by 10.4% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,396,691 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $14,218,000 after buying an additional 131,383 shares during the period.

About U.S. Silica

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc produces and sells commercial silica in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Oil & Gas Proppants and Industrial & Specialty Products. It offers whole grain commercial silica products to be used as fracturing sand in connection with oil and natural gas recovery, as well as sells its whole grain silica products in various size distributions, grain shapes, and chemical purity levels for manufacturing glass products.

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