American Vanguard (AVD) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

American Vanguard (NYSE:AVD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors 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. “

AVD has been the topic of several other research reports. ValuEngine raised shares of American Vanguard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, April 2nd. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of American Vanguard in a research report on Thursday, March 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. American Vanguard has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $25.00.

Shares of American Vanguard stock traded up $0.35 on Thursday, hitting $21.70. 94,332 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 112,949. The stock has a market cap of $637.63 million, a P/E ratio of 38.07 and a beta of 1.19. American Vanguard has a 1-year low of $21.32 and a 1-year high of $21.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 2.15 and a quick ratio of 1.09.

American Vanguard (NYSE:AVD) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, May 8th. The basic materials company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $104.11 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $103.81 million. American Vanguard had a return on equity of 6.01% and a net margin of 5.52%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 47.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.12 EPS. research analysts expect that American Vanguard will post 0.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Alfred F. Ingulli sold 10,413 shares of American Vanguard stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total transaction of $220,443.21. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,414 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $220,464.38. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 5.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in American Vanguard by 1.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,725,111 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $75,248,000 after purchasing an additional 68,530 shares during the period. Heartland Advisors Inc. raised its position 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 purchasing an additional 175,780 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in American Vanguard by 14.1% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 547,952 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $10,767,000 after purchasing an additional 67,800 shares during the period. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. raised its position in American Vanguard by 6.9% in the fourth quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 392,757 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $7,718,000 after purchasing an additional 25,265 shares during the period. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH raised its position in American Vanguard by 5.5% in the fourth quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 230,719 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $4,534,000 after purchasing an additional 11,958 shares during the period. 76.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

American Vanguard Company Profile

American Vanguard Corporation, through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets specialty chemicals for agricultural, commercial, and consumer uses in the United States and internationally. The company manufactures and formulates chemicals, including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, molluscicides, growth regulators, and soil fumigants in liquid, powder, and granular forms for crops, turf and ornamental plants, and human and animal health protection.

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