U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA) was down 4% during trading on Thursday . The company traded as low as $30.13 and last traded at $28.92. Approximately 1,483,280 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 21% from the average daily volume of 1,881,466 shares. The stock had previously closed at $30.13.

A number of research firms have issued reports on SLCA. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price target on shares of U.S. Silica in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised U.S. Silica from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. BidaskClub raised U.S. Silica from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price target on U.S. Silica from $55.00 to $47.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered their price target on U.S. Silica from $43.00 to $40.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company. U.S. Silica presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.76.

The firm has a market capitalization of $2,326.38, a P/E ratio of 31.47 and a beta of 2.15. The company has a quick ratio of 3.26, a current ratio of 3.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39.

U.S. Silica declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Monday, November 6th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the mining company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, EVP Bradford B. Casper sold 8,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.21, for a total value of $297,627.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 18,593 shares in the company, valued at $636,066.53. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Bryan Adair Shinn purchased 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 20th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $31.30 per share, for a total transaction of $125,200.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now owns 88,807 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,779,659.10. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have acquired 7,900 shares of company stock worth $256,063. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of U.S. Silica by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,676,019 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $347,610,000 after acquiring an additional 530,193 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of U.S. Silica by 1.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,191,404 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $255,223,000 after acquiring an additional 114,029 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in shares of U.S. Silica by 35.4% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,663,238 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $94,554,000 after acquiring an additional 696,893 shares in the last quarter. Van Berkom & Associates Inc. lifted its stake in shares of U.S. Silica by 4.1% in the third quarter. Van Berkom & Associates Inc. now owns 1,850,760 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $57,503,000 after acquiring an additional 73,679 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of U.S. Silica by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,444,958 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $47,047,000 after acquiring an additional 13,352 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.79% 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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