Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Neenah Paper (NYSE:NP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $104.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Neenah is a leading global specialty materials company, focused on premium niche markets that include advanced filtration media, specialized substrates used for tapes, labels and other products, and premium printing and packaging papers. The company is headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia and its products are sold in over 70 countries worldwide from manufacturing operations in the United States and Germany. “

Separately, DA Davidson reissued a neutral rating on shares of Neenah Paper in a report on Thursday, November 9th.

Shares of Neenah Paper (NYSE NP) traded up $1.35 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $92.90. 42,338 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 58,777. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 2.52 and a quick ratio of 1.44. The company has a market capitalization of $1,560.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.42, a PEG ratio of 3.89 and a beta of 1.27. Neenah Paper has a 12-month low of $72.35 and a 12-month high of $93.50.

Neenah Paper (NYSE:NP) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The basic materials company reported $1.02 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.01 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $245.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $240.60 million. Neenah Paper had a net margin of 8.13% and a return on equity of 20.48%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.99 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Neenah Paper will post 4.19 EPS for the current year.

Neenah Paper announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Wednesday, November 29th that permits the company to repurchase $25.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the basic materials company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Timothy S. Lucas sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.90, for a total value of $175,800.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 15,693 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,379,414.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Byron Jason Racki sold 1,107 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.13, for a total transaction of $97,559.91. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 2,595 shares in the company, valued at $228,697.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 18,911 shares of company stock worth $1,715,307. Insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Neenah Paper by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 117,756 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $10,675,000 after purchasing an additional 5,879 shares in the last quarter. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. raised its stake in Neenah Paper by 27.1% in the fourth quarter. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. now owns 32,156 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,915,000 after purchasing an additional 6,847 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC purchased a new stake in Neenah Paper in the third quarter valued at approximately $19,533,000. Magnetar Financial LLC purchased a new stake in Neenah Paper in the third quarter valued at approximately $205,000. Finally, NWQ Investment Management Company LLC raised its stake in Neenah Paper by 2.7% in the third quarter. NWQ Investment Management Company LLC now owns 189,138 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $16,181,000 after purchasing an additional 5,038 shares in the last quarter. 89.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Neenah Paper Company Profile

Neenah, Inc, formerly Neenah Paper, Inc, is a materials company focused in niche markets. The Company has two primary businesses: technical products, and fine paper and packaging. The technical products business is an international producer of transportation, water and other filtration media, digital transfer materials, tape and abrasive backings, labels and other performance-oriented substrates.

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