BidaskClub cut shares of Neenah Paper, Inc. (NYSE:NP) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

NP has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Neenah Paper from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday. ValuEngine lowered shares of Neenah Paper from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, May 27th.

Neenah Paper (NP) traded up 0.98% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $77.05. The company had a trading volume of 68,327 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $79.13 and a 200 day moving average price of $77.92. Neenah Paper has a 52 week low of $72.35 and a 52 week high of $90.23. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.55 and a beta of 1.30.

Neenah Paper (NYSE:NP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The basic materials company reported $1.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.14. Neenah Paper had a return on equity of 21.03% and a net margin of 7.99%. The company had revenue of $248.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $250.88 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.26 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Neenah Paper will post $4.18 earnings per share for the current year.

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Neenah Paper announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, May 25th that permits the company to buyback $25.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the basic materials company to purchase up to 2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.92%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 16th. Neenah Paper’s payout ratio is currently 33.71%.

In related news, SVP James R. Piedmonte sold 447 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.50, for a total value of $37,324.50. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 2,883 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $240,730.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Bonnie Cruickshank Lind sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.00, for a total transaction of $121,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 2,519 shares in the company, valued at $204,039. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 10,809 shares of company stock worth $873,204. Corporate insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NP. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Neenah Paper by 128,954.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,011,955 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $150,292,000 after buying an additional 2,010,396 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP acquired a new position in Neenah Paper during the first quarter worth $38,985,000. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK acquired a new position in Neenah Paper during the second quarter worth $36,785,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in Neenah Paper by 135.9% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 794,458 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $59,346,000 after buying an additional 457,658 shares during the period. Finally, Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC acquired a new position in Neenah Paper during the second quarter worth $33,097,000. 92.16% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Neenah Paper Company Profile

Neenah Paper, Inc is a producer of technical products and premium fine papers and packaging. The Company has two primary businesses: technical products business, and fine paper and packaging business. Its segments consist of Technical Products, Fine Paper and Packaging, and Other. The technical products business is an international producer of transportation, water and other filter media and durable, saturated and coated substrates.

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