Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning. They currently have $21.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.

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. “

A number of other analysts have also commented on GPRE. BidaskClub upgraded Green Plains from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, January 11th. ValuEngine lowered Green Plains from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray restated a buy rating and issued a $27.00 price target on shares of Green Plains in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Green Plains presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $25.33.

Shares of Green Plains stock opened at $18.00 on Wednesday. Green Plains has a one year low of $15.60 and a one year high of $26.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 1.36 and a quick ratio of 0.56.

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported ($0.16) EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.17) by $0.01. The company had revenue of $920.98 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $953.30 million. Green Plains had a negative return on equity of 3.33% and a net margin of 1.70%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.47 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Green Plains will post 0.49 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Michelle Mapes sold 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.27, for a total transaction of $134,890.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 35,515 shares in the company, valued at $684,374.05. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Michael A. Metzler sold 21,053 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.00, for a total value of $400,007.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 41,771 shares in the company, valued at approximately $793,649. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 5.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GPRE. Teacher Retirement System of Texas bought a new stake in Green Plains during the fourth quarter worth about $228,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Green Plains during the fourth quarter worth about $303,000. Stephens Inc. AR bought a new stake in Green Plains during the fourth quarter worth about $391,000. Capital Innovations LLC bought a new stake in Green Plains during the fourth quarter worth about $419,000. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its holdings in Green Plains by 29.2% during the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 25,620 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $432,000 after acquiring an additional 5,793 shares in the last quarter.

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Green Plains Company Profile

Green Plains Inc produces, markets, and distributes ethanol in the United States and internationally. The company operates through four segments: Ethanol Production; Agribusiness and Energy Services; Food and Ingredients; and Partnership. The Ethanol Production segment produces and sells ethanol, distiller grains, and corn oil.

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