Exponent Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

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. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Avondale Partners began coverage on Exponent in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $60.00 price objective on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald assumed coverage on Exponent in a report on Friday, August 26th. They set a “buy” rating and a $57.00 target price on the stock.

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Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) traded up 0.30% on Tuesday, hitting $49.80. The company had a trading volume of 51,254 shares. Exponent has a one year low of $43.05 and a one year high of $59.71. The company has a market capitalization of $1.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.46 and a beta of 0.81. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $50.45 and its 200 day moving average price is $51.80.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $77.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $80.46 million. Exponent had a return on equity of 16.02% and a net margin of 15.13%. On average, analysts expect that Exponent will post $1.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 23rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.45%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st. Exponent’s payout ratio is presently 41.62%.

In other news, CEO Paul R. Johnston sold 5,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.74, for a total value of $301,070.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 75,536 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,134,840.64. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Paul Boehm sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.42, for a total value of $257,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 29,045 shares in the company, valued at $1,493,493.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in EXPO. Glenmede Trust Co. NA increased its position in shares of Exponent by 0.8% in the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 6,367 shares of the company’s stock worth $371,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its position in shares of Exponent by 2.2% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,781 shares of the company’s stock worth $162,000 after buying an additional 59 shares in the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Exponent by 0.9% in the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 11,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $672,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. increased its position in shares of Exponent by 4.8% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 3,292 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,000 after buying an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Exponent by 1.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 12,284 shares of the company’s stock worth $718,000 after buying an additional 204 shares in the last quarter. 91.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Exponent Company Profile

Exponent, Inc, along with its subsidiaries, is a science and engineering consulting company. The Company operates through two segments: Engineering and Other Scientific, and Environmental and Health. Its Engineering and Other Scientific segment includes biomechanics, biomedical engineering, buildings and structures, civil engineering, construction consulting, electrical engineering and computer science, engineering management consulting, human factors, industrial structures, materials and corrosion engineering, mechanical engineering, polymer science and materials chemistry, technology development, thermal sciences and vehicle analysis services.

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