Viking Fund Management LLC lessened its stake in shares of U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) by 15.3% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 580,000 shares of the mining company’s stock after selling 105,000 shares during the quarter. U.S. Silica accounts for about 3.1% of Viking Fund Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 8th biggest position. Viking Fund Management LLC’s holdings in U.S. Silica were worth $18,885,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in U.S. Silica by 13.9% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 408,530 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $14,499,000 after acquiring an additional 49,767 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank grew its stake in U.S. Silica by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 135,050 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $4,793,000 after acquiring an additional 3,300 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in U.S. Silica by 89.7% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 237,090 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $8,415,000 after acquiring an additional 112,120 shares in the last quarter. AXA purchased a new position in U.S. Silica during the 2nd quarter valued at about $355,000. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its stake in U.S. Silica by 69.0% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 4,226 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $150,000 after acquiring an additional 1,726 shares in the last quarter.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. R. F. Lafferty assumed coverage on U.S. Silica in a research note on Wednesday. They set a “buy” rating and a $52.00 target price on the stock. Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on U.S. Silica in a research note on Friday, December 8th. They set a “buy” rating and a $59.00 target price on the stock. Citigroup lifted their target price on U.S. Silica from $39.00 to $41.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Jefferies Group set a $43.00 target price on U.S. Silica and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 13th. Finally, BidaskClub cut U.S. Silica from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.76.

Shares of U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (SLCA) traded up $0.29 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $36.57. The company had a trading volume of 1,126,214 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,964,631. The company has a market cap of $2,970.00, a PE ratio of 45.71 and a beta of 2.33. U.S. Silica Holdings Inc has a 1-year low of $24.26 and a 1-year high of $61.49. The company has a current ratio of 3.67, a quick ratio of 3.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The mining company reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $345.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $328.91 million. U.S. Silica had a return on equity of 5.73% and a net margin of 6.24%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 150.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted ($0.13) EPS. analysts predict that U.S. Silica Holdings Inc will post 1.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.063 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.25 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.69%. U.S. Silica’s payout ratio is currently 31.25%.

U.S. Silica announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Monday, November 6th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the mining company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CEO Bryan Adair Shinn bought 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 20th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $31.30 per share, with a total value of $125,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 88,807 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,779,659.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Charles W. Shaver bought 3,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 12th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $33.99 per share, with a total value of $112,167.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 29,829 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,013,887.71. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have acquired 7,900 shares of company stock valued at $256,063 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA)

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