Pacific Ethanol Inc (NASDAQ:PEIX) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 2,678,054 shares, an increase of 34.4% from the February 15th total of 1,993,269 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 283,009 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 9.5 days. Currently, 7.3% of the company’s shares are short sold.

Shares of Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) opened at $3.68 on Wednesday. Pacific Ethanol has a 12 month low of $3.10 and a 12 month high of $7.57. The stock has a market capitalization of $161.59, a PE ratio of -4.32 and a beta of 1.78. The company has a quick ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 2.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56.

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Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 28th. The oil and gas company reported ($0.32) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.11) by ($0.21). Pacific Ethanol had a negative net margin of 2.14% and a negative return on equity of 8.75%. The firm had revenue of $395.27 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $418.84 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.30 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Pacific Ethanol will post -0.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Neil M. Koehler purchased 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 8th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $3.20 per share, with a total value of $96,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Larry D. Layne purchased 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 6th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $3.70 per share, for a total transaction of $37,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have acquired 49,500 shares of company stock worth $163,550. Corporate insiders own 3.87% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Voya Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Pacific Ethanol by 21.9% in the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 19,222 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $120,000 after acquiring an additional 3,448 shares during the last quarter. Virtu Financial LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol in the fourth quarter valued at about $126,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol in the third quarter valued at about $185,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Pacific Ethanol in the second quarter valued at about $188,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in shares of Pacific Ethanol by 53.4% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 34,264 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $214,000 after acquiring an additional 11,925 shares during the last quarter. 78.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research firms have issued reports on PEIX. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Pacific Ethanol from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. B. Riley began coverage on Pacific Ethanol in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $7.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine raised Pacific Ethanol from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, HC Wainwright set a $14.00 price target on Pacific Ethanol and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $10.20.

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Pacific Ethanol Company Profile

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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