Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ:PEIX) shares were down 3.8% on Thursday . The company traded as low as $5.56 and last traded at $5.56, with a volume of 343,654 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $5.78.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on PEIX shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Pacific Ethanol from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 11th. Rodman & Renshaw started coverage on Pacific Ethanol in a research report on Tuesday, May 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $11.00 price objective for the company. Roth Capital reduced their price objective on Pacific Ethanol from $10.00 to $7.50 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, March 14th. Finally, HC Wainwright reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Pacific Ethanol in a research report on Tuesday, May 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $9.17.

The company’s market capitalization is $243.61 million. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $5.64 and its 200-day moving average price is $4.51.

Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, May 4th. The company reported ($0.32) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.13) by $0.19. The firm earned $342.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $360.37 million. The business’s revenue was up 66.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted ($0.19) earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Pacific Ethanol Inc. will post ($0.13) earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, VP Christopher W. Wright sold 31,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $6.00, for a total transaction of $186,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 63,936 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $383,616. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. GSA Capital Partners LLP boosted its position in Pacific Ethanol by 51.6% in the fourth quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 626,253 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,993,000 after buying an additional 213,212 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners boosted its position in Pacific Ethanol by 9.6% in the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 2,463,018 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,773,000 after buying an additional 216,550 shares in the last quarter. Russell Frank Co boosted its position in Pacific Ethanol by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. Russell Frank Co now owns 542,186 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,489,000 after buying an additional 38,462 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP boosted its position in Pacific Ethanol by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 409,972 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,960,000 after buying an additional 5,340 shares in the last quarter.

Pacific Ethanol, Inc (Pacific Ethanol) is a marketer and producer of low-carbon renewable fuels in the Western United States. Pacific Ethanol markets all the ethanol produced by four ethanol production facilities located in California, Idaho and Oregon, or the Pacific Ethanol Plants, all the ethanol produced by three other ethanol producers in the Western United States and ethanol purchased from other third-party suppliers throughout the United States.

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