Exponent (EXPO) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday morning.

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. “

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A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on EXPO. BidaskClub upgraded Exponent from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. SunTrust Banks upgraded Exponent from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $84.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Exponent from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $84.67.

Shares of EXPO opened at $79.40 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $2,071.84, a PE ratio of 42.09 and a beta of 0.62. Exponent has a 12-month low of $56.95 and a 12-month high of $81.15.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The business services provider reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $82.72 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $80.27 million. Exponent had a return on equity of 17.81% and a net margin of 11.88%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.39 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Exponent will post 2.41 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 23rd. Investors of record on Friday, March 2nd were given a $0.26 dividend. This is an increase from Exponent’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 1st. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.31%. Exponent’s payout ratio is presently 48.60%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in EXPO. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC lifted its position in Exponent by 13.8% in the 4th quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 973,140 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $69,190,000 after buying an additional 118,350 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC lifted its position in Exponent by 557.1% in the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 113,998 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $8,105,000 after buying an additional 96,650 shares during the last quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC lifted its position in Exponent by 17.9% in the 4th quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 496,857 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $35,327,000 after buying an additional 75,277 shares during the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. bought a new stake in Exponent in the 4th quarter worth approximately $4,770,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Exponent by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,214,719 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $228,566,000 after buying an additional 57,546 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.91% of the company’s stock.

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Exponent Company Profile

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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