Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Green Plains, Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Green Plains Inc. is vertically integrated producer, marketer and distributer of ethanol. The company operates through four segments: Ethanol Production, Corn Oil Production, Agribusiness, and Marketing and Distribution. It produces ethanol and co-products, such as wet, modified wet or dried distillers grains, as well as extracts non-edible corn oil. The company is also involved in buying and selling bulk grain primarily corn and soybeans. Green Plains Inc., formerly known as Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc., is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. “

Several other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Craig Hallum assumed coverage on Green Plains in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. They set a buy rating and a $29.00 target price for the company. ValuEngine upgraded Green Plains from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 13th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a hold rating and set a $19.00 target price on shares of Green Plains in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. BidaskClub downgraded Green Plains from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and set a $25.00 target price (down from $28.00) on shares of Green Plains in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $26.50.

Shares of Green Plains (GPRE) opened at 20.05 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $19.09 and a 200 day moving average price of $21.08. Green Plains has a 12-month low of $16.35 and a 12-month high of $29.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $831.75 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 117.25 and a beta of 1.37.

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) last issued its earnings results on Monday, July 31st. The specialty chemicals company reported ($0.41) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.12) by ($0.29). Green Plains had a return on equity of 0.68% and a net margin of 0.19%. The business had revenue of $886.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $986.88 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.21 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Green Plains will post ($0.29) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Monday, August 28th were issued a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 24th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.40%. Green Plains’s payout ratio is currently 282.35%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Green Plains by 7.2% during the 1st quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,022 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 270 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its holdings in Green Plains by 85.9% during the 2nd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 7,289 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $149,000 after purchasing an additional 3,369 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its holdings in Green Plains by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 7,612 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $156,000 after purchasing an additional 104 shares during the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan lifted its holdings in Green Plains by 2.0% during the 1st quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 8,150 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $202,000 after purchasing an additional 160 shares during the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. acquired a new stake in Green Plains during the 1st quarter worth approximately $204,000.

Green Plains Company Profile

Green Plains Inc is an ethanol producer. The Company owns and operates assets throughout the ethanol value chain, including upstream, with grain handling and storage through its ethanol production facilities, and downstream, with marketing and distribution services. It operates through four segments: Ethanol Production, Agribusiness and Energy Services, Food and Food Ingredients, and Partnership.

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