American Vanguard (AVD) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

American Vanguard (NYSE:AVD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “American Vanguard Corporation is a diversified specialty and agricultural products company focusing on crop protection, turf and ornamental markets, and public health applications. The Company has continued its successful strategy of acquiring or licensing both new and well-established product lines that serve numerous high valued market niches. New product development and international expansion also provide an additional stimulus for growth. Through skilful marketing, diligent product registration, quality manufacturing, American Vanguard has positioned itself to capitalize on developing trends in modern agriculture. American Vanguard continues to meet the needs of a world demanding ever-increasing quantities of agricultural products for human food, animal feed, natural fibers and alternative fuels. “

Separately, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and set a $23.00 price objective on shares of American Vanguard in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $25.33.

Shares of American Vanguard (AVD) traded down $0.31 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $19.34. 99,584 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 114,366. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 2.37 and a quick ratio of 1.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $566.10, a P/E ratio of 36.49, a PEG ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.21. American Vanguard has a 1 year low of $14.65 and a 1 year high of $24.00.

In other news, insider David` T. Johnson sold 6,611 shares of American Vanguard stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.87, for a total value of $124,749.57. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 28,429 shares in the company, valued at $536,455.23. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Timothy Donnelly sold 4,000 shares of American Vanguard stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.36, for a total transaction of $77,440.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 37,564 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $727,239.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of American Vanguard by 82.4% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 59,754 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,173,000 after buying an additional 26,992 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in shares of American Vanguard by 13.4% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 23,470 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $461,000 after buying an additional 2,766 shares in the last quarter. Heartland Advisors Inc. increased its stake in American Vanguard by 21.8% in the fourth quarter. Heartland Advisors Inc. now owns 981,413 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $19,285,000 after acquiring an additional 175,780 shares during the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. bought a new position in American Vanguard in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,289,000. Finally, Strs Ohio increased its stake in American Vanguard by 14.3% in the fourth quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 40,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $786,000 after acquiring an additional 5,000 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.25% of the company’s stock.

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American Vanguard Company Profile

American Vanguard Corporation operates as a holding company. The Company conducts its business through its subsidiaries, AMVAC Chemical Corporation (AMVAC), GemChem, Inc (GemChem), 2110 Davie Corporation (DAVIE), Quimica Amvac de Mexico SA de C.V. (AMVAC M), AMVAC Mexico Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (AMVAC M Srl), AMVAC de Costa Rica Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (AMVAC CR Srl), AMVAC Switzerland GmbH (AMVAC S), AMVAC do Brasil Representacoes Ltda (AMVAC B), AMVAC C.V.

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