MRC Global Inc. (NYSE:MRC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $18.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target points to a potential upside of 0.90% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “MRC Global reported third-quarter adjusted loss of $0.06 per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $0.15. However, quarterly revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.5%. The company is trying to increase its revenues on the back of superior customer relationships. Notably, MRC Global has been solidifying its product portfolio for its prospective end-users through meaningful innovations. Also, strategic organic deals, like the latest EDP agreement, are likely to generate benefits in the near term. Even so, the acquired businesses are augmenting the company’s competency in the alloys & valves, MRO and downstream markets. In sync with its commitment toward shareholders, MRC Global recently sanctioned an increment in its ongoing share buyback program.”

Several other research analysts have also commented on the stock. Cowen and Company upgraded shares of MRC Global from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $16.00 to $18.00 in a research note on Tuesday. Wells Fargo & Co. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of MRC Global in a research note on Sunday, September 4th. Maxim Group upgraded shares of MRC Global from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $16.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of MRC Global in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Capital One Financial Corp. upgraded shares of MRC Global from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $16.80.

Analyst Recommendations for MRC Global (NYSE:MRC)

MRC Global (NYSE:MRC) opened at 17.84 on Wednesday. MRC Global has a 52 week low of $8.50 and a 52 week high of $18.10. The stock’s market cap is $1.70 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $15.63 and its 200 day moving average is $14.51.

MRC Global (NYSE:MRC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported ($0.06) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.14) by $0.08. MRC Global had a negative net margin of 13.92% and a negative return on equity of 0.01%. The firm earned $793 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $759.67 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.10 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 26.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that MRC Global will post ($0.57) EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Gerard Pieter Krans sold 36,150 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.30, for a total value of $553,095.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 18,802 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $287,670.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 6.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRC. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in MRC Global by 1.3% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 12,687 shares of the company’s stock valued at $208,000 after buying an additional 158 shares during the period. BlackRock Group LTD increased its stake in MRC Global by 0.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 50,103 shares of the company’s stock valued at $823,000 after buying an additional 434 shares during the period. Synovus Financial Corp increased its stake in MRC Global by 1.7% in the second quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 28,554 shares of the company’s stock valued at $404,000 after buying an additional 479 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in MRC Global by 11.8% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 9,180 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 970 shares during the period. Finally, Clinton Group Inc. increased its stake in MRC Global by 0.6% in the second quarter. Clinton Group Inc. now owns 155,926 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,216,000 after buying an additional 991 shares during the period. 98.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MRC Global Company Profile

MRC Global Inc is an industrial distributor of pipe, valves and fittings (PVF) and related products and services to the energy industry. The Company operates through three segments: the United States of America, Canada and International. It has branches in principal industrial, hydrocarbon producing and refining areas throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australasia, the Middle East and Kazakhstan.

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