An issue of Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) (TSE:MRI.U) debt fell 0.4% as a percentage of its face value during trading on Friday. The high-yield issue of debt has a 7% coupon and will mature on December 1, 2019. The bonds in the issue are now trading at $103.13. Price changes in a company’s debt in credit markets sometimes predict parallel changes in its share price.

MERC has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Mercer International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, September 29th. TheStreet cut shares of Mercer International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 17th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Mercer International in a report on Saturday, October 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Mercer International has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $12.13.

Shares of Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) opened at 9.55 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $8.39 and its 200-day moving average price is $8.40. Mercer International Inc. has a 12-month low of $5.95 and a 12-month high of $10.98. The company has a market cap of $617.46 million, a PE ratio of 16.21 and a beta of 1.54.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 4th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.115 per share. This represents a $0.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.82%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 20th. Mercer International’s dividend payout ratio is 79.31%.

In related news, major shareholder Peter R. Kellogg acquired 54,648 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 8th. The shares were bought at an average price of $8.30 per share, for a total transaction of $453,578.40. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 2,761,669 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,921,852.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Peter R. Kellogg acquired 10,159 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 24th. The shares were bought at an average price of $7.76 per share, for a total transaction of $78,833.84. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 2,657,368 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,621,175.68. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 4.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust increased its position in Mercer International by 36.2% in the second quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust now owns 49,201 shares of the company’s stock valued at $393,000 after buying an additional 13,073 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Advisers Inc. PA increased its position in Mercer International by 28.2% in the second quarter. Emerald Advisers Inc. PA now owns 103,078 shares of the company’s stock valued at $823,000 after buying an additional 22,645 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Mercer International by 42.7% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 124,383 shares of the company’s stock valued at $993,000 after buying an additional 37,194 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new position in Mercer International during the second quarter valued at about $3,584,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in Mercer International by 11.9% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 236,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,883,000 after buying an additional 25,100 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 58.41% of the company’s stock.

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About Mercer International

Mercer International Inc is engaged in producing (northern bleached softwood kraft) NBSK pulp. The Company operates in the pulp industry and produces pulp for resale, known as market pulp, in Germany. It also produces and sells tall oil, which is used as both a chemical additive and as a green energy source.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:MERC

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