Zacks: Verso Corp (NYSE:VRS) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Strong Buy” from Brokerages

Shares of Verso Corp (NYSE:VRS) have been assigned an average broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the two brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a strong buy recommendation.

Analysts have set a one year consensus price objective of $29.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post ($0.34) earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Verso an industry rank of 127 out of 254 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on VRS. ValuEngine raised Verso from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 12th. B. Riley upped their price objective on Verso from $22.00 to $23.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut Verso from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, BWS Financial reduced their price objective on Verso from $50.00 to $35.00 and set a “strong-buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, March 16th.

VRS traded up $0.20 during trading on Friday, reaching $13.98. The company had a trading volume of 199,005 shares, compared to its average volume of 253,613. The company has a market cap of $482.98 million, a P/E ratio of 4.40 and a beta of 1.99. Verso has a 12 month low of $9.61 and a 12 month high of $19.49. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $12.79 and its 200 day moving average price is $15.59.

Verso (NYSE:VRS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 11th. The basic materials company reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.38 by $1.14. The business had revenue of $471.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $493.11 million. Verso had a net margin of 5.01% and a return on equity of 4.50%. On average, research analysts expect that Verso will post -0.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 29th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 15th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.86%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 12th.

In other news, Director Jeffrey E. Kirt purchased 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 12th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $11.45 per share, for a total transaction of $114,500.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO John Adam St. sold 18,066 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $13.89, for a total transaction of $250,936.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.45% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. TCW Group Inc. bought a new position in shares of Verso in the first quarter valued at about $7,084,000. Yakira Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Verso in the first quarter valued at about $3,894,000. Donald Smith & CO. Inc. raised its position in shares of Verso by 62.2% in the first quarter. Donald Smith & CO. Inc. now owns 777,024 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $8,765,000 after purchasing an additional 298,020 shares during the period. Royce & Associates LP raised its position in shares of Verso by 14.6% in the fourth quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 2,121,500 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $38,251,000 after purchasing an additional 270,252 shares during the period. Finally, Kestrel Investment Management Corp bought a new position in shares of Verso in the first quarter valued at about $2,663,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.15% of the company’s stock.

Verso Company Profile

Verso Corporation produces and sells coated papers in North America. It operates through two segments, Paper and Pulp. The company offers coated freesheet and coated groundwood, specialty, packaging, inkjet and digital, supercalendered, and uncoated freesheet papers; and bleached and unbleached market kraft pulp to manufacture printing, writing, and tissue products.

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