Piper Jaffray Companies restated their buy rating on shares of U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

Several other brokerages have also commented on SLCA. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of U.S. Silica from $39.00 to $41.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. Wolfe Research lowered shares of U.S. Silica from a market perform rating to an underperform rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Jefferies Group set a $43.00 price objective on shares of U.S. Silica and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, November 13th. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their target price on shares of U.S. Silica from $55.00 to $47.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, Barclays upgraded shares of U.S. Silica from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and set a $39.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, November 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and nineteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $48.60.

Shares of U.S. Silica (SLCA) traded down $0.25 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $38.00. 1,307,119 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,260,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 3.26 and a current ratio of 3.67. U.S. Silica has a 52-week low of $24.26 and a 52-week high of $61.49. The firm has a market cap of $3,090.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.50 and a beta of 2.33.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 6th. The mining company reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.02. U.S. Silica had a net margin of 11.96% and a return on equity of 12.49%. The firm had revenue of $345.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $328.91 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted ($0.13) EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 150.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that U.S. Silica will post 1.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

U.S. Silica announced that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, November 6th that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the mining company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were issued a dividend of $0.063 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.25 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.66%. U.S. Silica’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 31.25%.

In other news, EVP Bradford B. Casper sold 8,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.21, for a total value of $297,627.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,593 shares in the company, valued at approximately $636,066.53. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Charles W. Shaver acquired 3,300 shares of U.S. Silica stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 12th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $33.99 per share, for a total transaction of $112,167.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 29,829 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,013,887.71. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought a total of 7,900 shares of company stock worth $256,063 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. QS Investors LLC raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 6,128 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $217,000 after purchasing an additional 18 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 13.3% in the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 7,172 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $255,000 after purchasing an additional 843 shares in the last quarter. Symphony Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Symphony Asset Management LLC now owns 30,405 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $1,079,000 after purchasing an additional 863 shares in the last quarter. Profund Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 5.0% in the 2nd quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 18,855 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $669,000 after purchasing an additional 895 shares in the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of U.S. Silica by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 18,504 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $657,000 after purchasing an additional 1,027 shares in the last quarter.

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U.S. Silica Company Profile

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc is a domestic producer of commercial silica, a specialized mineral that is an input into a range of end markets. The Company operates in two segments: Oil & Gas Proppants, and Industrial & Specialty Products. In the Oil & Gas Proppants segment, it serves the oil and gas recovery market providing fracturing sand, or frac sand, which is pumped down oil and natural gas wells to prop open rock fissures and manage the flow rate of natural gas and oil from the wells.

Analyst Recommendations for U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA)

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