Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEIX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Pacific Ethanol, Inc. is currently in the business of marketing ethanol in the Western United States through Kinergy Marketing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and the largest West Coast-based marketer of renewable fuels. The Company intends, in the near future, to construct an ethanol production facility at its Madera County, California, site. “

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. HC Wainwright set a $14.00 price target on Pacific Ethanol and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Cowen and Company set a $13.00 price target on Pacific Ethanol and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Pacific Ethanol from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $12.50.

Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ PEIX) opened at 5.25 on Thursday. The firm’s market cap is $222.04 million. Pacific Ethanol has a one year low of $5.20 and a one year high of $10.95. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $6.06 and its 200-day moving average price is $6.69.

Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The oil and gas company reported ($0.22) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.04) by $0.18. Pacific Ethanol had a negative return on equity of 3.02% and a negative net margin of 0.72%. The company had revenue of $405.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $410.34 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.11 EPS. Pacific Ethanol’s quarterly revenue was down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Pacific Ethanol will post ($0.38) EPS for the current year.

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Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol by 1.2% in the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 35,269 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $242,000 after buying an additional 419 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its position in Pacific Ethanol by 4.7% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 16,212 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 728 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. raised its position in Pacific Ethanol by 7.1% in the first quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 17,659 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 1,163 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its position in Pacific Ethanol by 11.6% in the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 25,291 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $240,000 after buying an additional 2,633 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Strs Ohio raised its position in Pacific Ethanol by 6.0% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 95,200 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $595,000 after buying an additional 5,400 shares during the last quarter. 65.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Pacific Ethanol

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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