Shares of Exponent Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) have been given an average broker rating score of 2.50 (Hold) from the four analysts that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Exponent’s rating score has improved by 16.7% in the last 90 days as a result of various analysts’ ratings changes.

Brokerages have set a one year consensus price objective of $55.67 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.36 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Exponent an industry rank of 112 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on EXPO shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Exponent from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Cantor Fitzgerald started coverage on Exponent in a report on Friday, August 26th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $57.00 price target for the company. Finally, Avondale Partners started coverage on Exponent in a report on Thursday, July 7th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $60.00 price target for the company.

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In other news, insider Paul Boehm sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.42, for a total transaction of $257,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 29,045 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,493,493.90. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Paul R. Johnston sold 5,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.07, for a total value of $319,385.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 70,036 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,066,990.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. GW&K Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Exponent by 4.9% in the first quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 269,658 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,755,000 after buying an additional 12,499 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Exponent by 15.1% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 7,084 shares of the company’s stock valued at $361,000 after buying an additional 932 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Exponent by 18.6% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 127,472 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,502,000 after buying an additional 20,023 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Exponent by 18.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,498 shares of the company’s stock valued at $332,000 after buying an additional 1,008 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in shares of Exponent by 6.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 37,744 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,925,000 after buying an additional 2,419 shares during the last quarter. 91.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) traded up 0.50% on Wednesday, hitting $50.05. 16,687 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $50.45 and its 200-day moving average price is $51.80. Exponent has a 52-week low of $43.05 and a 52-week high of $59.71. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.60 and a beta of 0.81.

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

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

About Exponent

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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