Pacific Ethanol Inc (NASDAQ:PEIX) shot up 6.5% during trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $0.60 and last traded at $0.59, 343,094 shares changed hands during mid-day trading. A decline of 17% from the average session volume of 415,152 shares. The stock had previously closed at $0.55.

A number of brokerages have commented on PEIX. ValuEngine lowered Pacific Ethanol from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. HC Wainwright decreased their price objective on Pacific Ethanol from $4.00 to $3.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Pacific Ethanol from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 4th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $4.00.

The company has a current ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $0.64 and a 200-day moving average price of $0.82.

Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The oil and gas company reported ($0.17) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.19) by $0.02. The company had revenue of $346.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $377.12 million. Pacific Ethanol had a negative return on equity of 18.75% and a negative net margin of 4.27%. Research analysts anticipate that Pacific Ethanol Inc will post -0.84 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Neil M. Koehler bought 100,000 shares of Pacific Ethanol stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 22nd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $0.57 per share, with a total value of $57,000.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 932,985 shares in the company, valued at approximately $531,801.45. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 5.48% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Pacific Ethanol by 55.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,910,502 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $1,461,000 after buying an additional 677,991 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in Pacific Ethanol by 42.6% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,062,077 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $1,577,000 after buying an additional 615,846 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Pacific Ethanol by 112.2% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 183,507 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 97,036 shares in the last quarter. Finally, A.R.T. Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Pacific Ethanol in the second quarter valued at about $34,000. 41.73% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX)

Pacific Ethanol, Inc produces and markets low-carbon renewable fuels and alcohol products in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Production and Marketing. It produces and markets ethanol; and co-products, such as wet and dry distillers grains, wet and dry corn gluten feed, condensed distillers solubles, corn gluten meal, corn germ, corn oil, distillers yeast, and CO2, as well as markets ethanol produced by third parties.

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