Exponent (EXPO) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Exponent, Inc., is a multidisciplinary organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and business consultants performing in-depth scientific research and analysis in over 90 technical disciplines. The company is an engineering and scientific consulting firm providing solutions to complex problems. The firm has been best known for analyzing accidents and failures to determine their causes, but in recent years it has become more active in assisting clients with human health, environmental and engineering issues associated with new products to help prevent problems in the future. The Company serves clients in the automotive, aviation, chemical, construction, consumer products, energy, government, health, insurance, manufacturing, technology and other sectors. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on EXPO. BidaskClub raised Exponent from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Saturday, March 10th. ValuEngine raised Exponent from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, April 3rd. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a buy rating and set a $24.00 price objective on shares of Exponent in a report on Friday, April 20th. Finally, SunTrust Banks raised their price objective on Exponent to $23.75 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $23.92.



Shares of NASDAQ EXPO opened at $50.55 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.24 and a beta of 0.64. Exponent has a 52 week low of $28.48 and a 52 week high of $52.63.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 19th. The business services provider reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.16 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $96.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $87.54 million. Exponent had a return on equity of 19.47% and a net margin of 12.52%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.15 EPS. equities analysts expect that Exponent will post 1.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 8th will be paid a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 7th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.06%. Exponent’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.60%.

In other news, Director Debra Zumwalt sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.01, for a total transaction of $48,005.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,940 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $666,309.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Richard L. Schlenker, Jr. sold 29,074 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.40, for a total value of $2,570,141.60. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 193,363 shares in the company, valued at $17,093,289.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 40,262 shares of company stock worth $3,586,801 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Exponent by 5.9% during the fourth quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 32,775 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,330,000 after purchasing an additional 1,836 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Exponent by 3.8% during the fourth quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 57,282 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,073,000 after purchasing an additional 2,097 shares in the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas bought a new stake in shares of Exponent during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $628,000. Crestline Management LP bought a new stake in shares of Exponent during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,979,000. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Exponent by 8.5% during the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 149,465 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $10,627,000 after purchasing an additional 11,708 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 43.59% of the company’s stock.

About Exponent

Exponent, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a science and engineering consulting company worldwide. Its services include analysis of product development, product recall, regulatory compliance, and the discovery of potential problems related to products, people, property, and impending litigation.

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