U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) saw a large increase in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 16,141,655 shares, an increase of 43.6% from the August 15th total of 11,237,567 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,827,517 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.7 days. Currently, 22.1% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

NYSE:SLCA opened at $20.33 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 2.27 and a current ratio of 2.88. U.S. Silica has a one year low of $19.02 and a one year high of $38.70. The company has a market cap of $1.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.89 and a beta of 2.15.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The mining company reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.67 by ($0.03). U.S. Silica had a return on equity of 13.14% and a net margin of 10.79%. The business had revenue of $427.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $455.35 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.38 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 47.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that U.S. Silica will post 2.67 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.0625 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 13th. This represents a $0.25 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.23%. U.S. Silica’s payout ratio is 16.67%.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Credit Suisse Group raised their price target on shares of U.S. Silica from $36.00 to $38.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Wells Fargo & Co began coverage on shares of U.S. Silica in a research note on Saturday. They issued a “buy” rating and a $24.00 price target on the stock. Barclays set a $40.00 target price on shares of U.S. Silica and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Jefferies Financial Group set a $37.00 target price on shares of U.S. Silica and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of U.S. Silica from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 20th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $35.58.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in U.S. Silica by 6.1% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,068,906 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $284,360,000 after purchasing an additional 634,747 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in U.S. Silica by 4,355.2% during the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,965,084 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $101,863,000 after purchasing an additional 3,876,084 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in U.S. Silica by 8.3% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,654,500 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $93,887,000 after purchasing an additional 281,567 shares during the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in U.S. Silica by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,336,162 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $60,016,000 after purchasing an additional 31,363 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its holdings in U.S. Silica by 7.9% during the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 1,891,901 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $48,603,000 after purchasing an additional 138,716 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.21% of the company’s stock.

About U.S. Silica

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc produces and sells commercial silica in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Oil & Gas Proppants and Industrial & Specialty Products. It offers whole grain commercial silica products to be used as fracturing sand in connection with oil and natural gas recovery; and resin coated proppants, as well as sells its whole grain silica products in various size distributions, grain shapes, and chemical purity levels for manufacturing glass products.

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