Stocks To Watch With Trade Uncertainty This High – Pacific Ethanol Inc. (PEIX), Chico’s FAS Inc. (CHS)

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) shares are 509.23% up in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved -4.35% or -$0.18 lower in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +1,700.00% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -25.70% down YTD and 528.67% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is -3.65% and 68.51% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On November 28, 2017, B. Riley FBR Inc. recommended the PEIX stock is a Buy, while earlier, B. Riley FBR had Reiterated the stock as a Buy on November 07, 2018. 1 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 2.00 to suggest that the PEIX stock is a “Moderate Buy. 0 of the 1 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 1 recommend buying, with 0 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $3.96. The forecasts give the Pacific Ethanol Inc. stock a price target range of $9.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $9.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 56.0% or 56.0%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to increase 245.00% in the current quarter to $0.31, up from the -$0.58 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of $0.44, down -30.20% from -$1.29 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between $0.32 and $0.32. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of $1.61 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 47 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 8 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 1,031,590 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 267,425. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 782,198 and 82,869 in purchases and sales respectively.

McGregor Bryon T, a Chief Financial Officer at the company, bought 5,000 shares worth $16500.0 at $3.30 per share on Aug 26. The Chief Financial Officer had earlier bought another 5,000 PEIX shares valued at $17750.0 on Aug 27. The shares were bought at $3.55 per share. KOEHLER NEIL M (Co-President & Co-CEO) bought 50,000 shares at $3.35 per share on Aug 26 for a total of $0.17 million while NATHAN GILBERT E, (Director) bought 20,000 shares on Aug 26 for $70599.0 with each share fetching $3.53.

Chico’s FAS Inc. (NYSE:CHS), on the other hand, is trading around $1.28 with a market cap of $151.95M and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Analysts predict that the stock will reach $2.00 and spell out a more modest performance – a 36.0% return. Some analysts are even forecasting -$1.8 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the Chico’s FAS Inc. (CHS) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

CHS’s operating margin was negative on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at -20.80%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $107.71 million. This represented a 64.82% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $306.17 million. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$0.40 on the year-over-year period, shrinking to -$0.02 as given in the last earnings report.

In terms of the balance sheet & cash flow as of (Oct 2020), the total assets figure advanced to $1.37 billion from $1.46 billion over the previous quarter. Short term investments amounted to $20.74 million while total current assets were at $477.74 million. The cash flow from operating activities totaled -$90.22 million, significantly lower than the $21.02 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was -$98.37 million.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 30 times at Chico’s FAS Inc. over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 20 times and accounting for 1,010,239 shares. Insider sales totaled 437,861 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 10 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are 10.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 9.08M shares after the latest sales, with 13.90% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 2.40% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 85.60% with a share float percentage of 110.42M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Chico’s FAS Inc. having a total of 233 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Blackrock Inc. with over 18.41 million shares worth more than $25.41 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, Blackrock Inc. held 15.36% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Vanguard Group, Inc. (The), with the investment firm holding over 9.1 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $12.55 million and represent 7.59% of shares outstanding.