Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEIX) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Pacific Ethanol, Inc. is currently in the business of marketing ethanol in the Western United States through Kinergy Marketing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and the largest West Coast-based marketer of renewable fuels. The Company intends, in the near future, to construct an ethanol production facility at its Madera County, California, site. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. ValuEngine cut Pacific Ethanol from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Cowen and Company set a $13.00 target price on Pacific Ethanol and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Finally, HC Wainwright reiterated a buy rating and issued a $14.00 target price on shares of Pacific Ethanol in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $12.50.

Shares of Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ PEIX) traded down 3.96% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $4.85. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 668,910 shares. Pacific Ethanol has a 52-week low of $4.85 and a 52-week high of $10.95. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $6.01 and a 200 day moving average price of $6.66. The company’s market cap is $212.96 million.

Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The oil and gas company reported ($0.22) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.04) by $0.18. The company had revenue of $405.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $410.34 million. Pacific Ethanol had a negative return on equity of 3.02% and a negative net margin of 0.72%. Pacific Ethanol’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.11 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Pacific Ethanol will post ($0.38) earnings per share for the current year.

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Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PEIX. Boston Partners raised its stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol by 141.7% in the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 1,507,400 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $10,325,000 after buying an additional 883,860 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management raised its stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol by 17,614.6% in the first quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 726,300 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $4,975,000 after buying an additional 722,200 shares in the last quarter. DnB Asset Management AS raised its stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol by 40.7% in the second quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 2,367,337 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $14,796,000 after buying an additional 685,298 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol by 56.0% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,645,060 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $11,269,000 after buying an additional 590,856 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Candlewood Investment Group LP raised its stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol by 19.3% in the second quarter. Candlewood Investment Group LP now owns 3,254,318 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $20,339,000 after buying an additional 526,901 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.77% of the company’s stock.

About Pacific Ethanol

Pacific Ethanol, Inc (Pacific Ethanol) is a marketer and producer of low-carbon renewable fuels in the Western United States. Pacific Ethanol markets all the ethanol produced by four ethanol production facilities located in California, Idaho and Oregon, or the Pacific Ethanol Plants, all the ethanol produced by three other ethanol producers in the Western United States and ethanol purchased from other third-party suppliers throughout the United States.

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