Natural Resource Partners LP (NYSE:NRP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $38.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target points to a potential upside of 4.25% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Natural Resource Partners’ earnings in the reported quarter were lower than the year-ago quarter level. However, at the end of the third quarter, the partnership started to reap the benefits of improving coal prices as a result of changes in the coal market. Its exposure to metallurgical coal, prices of which have been on the rise in last few months, places it advantageously. Rising demand for domestic thermal coal due to higher natural gas prices could result in higher coal production from its high-quality coal mines, paving the path for higher royalty revenues. The partnership is also well placed to reap the benefits of the aggregates market from its VantaCore business. Natural Resource Partners is working on a strategic plan to strengthen its balance sheet and improve its liquidity. Stringent emission regulation and dependence on a few customers for coal royalty revenues are major headwinds.”

Separately, Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage on Natural Resource Partners in a report on Wednesday, November 9th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $30.00 price objective for the company.

Shares of Natural Resource Partners (NYSE:NRP) opened at 36.45 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $29.33 and its 200 day moving average price is $20.84. Natural Resource Partners has a one year low of $5.00 and a one year high of $37.90. The firm’s market cap is $445.86 million.

Natural Resource Partners (NYSE:NRP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 7th. The company reported $1.26 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.26. The firm had revenue of $97.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $83.14 million. The company’s revenue was down 14.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.23 EPS. Analysts predict that Natural Resource Partners will post $7.14 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 14th. Investors of record on Monday, November 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.45 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 3rd. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.94%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of Natural Resource Partners by 21,585.5% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 184,544 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,149,000 after buying an additional 183,693 shares during the period. Centerbridge Partners L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Natural Resource Partners during the second quarter valued at about $444,000. KCG Holdings Inc. increased its stake in shares of Natural Resource Partners by 51.6% in the second quarter. KCG Holdings Inc. now owns 24,222 shares of the company’s stock valued at $348,000 after buying an additional 8,249 shares during the period. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Natural Resource Partners by 5,572.6% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 12,196 shares of the company’s stock valued at $175,000 after buying an additional 11,981 shares during the period. Finally, Wedbush Securities Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Natural Resource Partners during the second quarter valued at about $299,000.

Natural Resource Partners Company Profile

Natural Resource Partners L.P. owns, operates, manages and leases a portfolio of mineral properties in the United States, including interests in coal, trona and soda ash, crude oil and natural gas, construction aggregates, frac sand and other natural resources. The Company’s Coal, Hard Mineral Royalty and Other segment consists primarily of coal royalty, coal related transportation and processing assets, aggregate and industrial minerals royalty assets and timber.

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