BidaskClub lowered shares of Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Saturday.

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Exponent in a research report on Sunday, November 5th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Exponent from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $77.00 price target on shares of Exponent in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. Exponent has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $80.00.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) traded down $0.55 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $73.10. The company had a trading volume of 48,289 shares, compared to its average volume of 79,833. Exponent has a twelve month low of $55.75 and a twelve month high of $77.15. The company has a market cap of $1,886.78, a PE ratio of 39.95 and a beta of 0.57.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The business services provider reported $0.54 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by $0.09. Exponent had a return on equity of 17.21% and a net margin of 16.46%. The firm had revenue of $87.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $79.69 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.42 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 12.9% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Exponent will post 2.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.15%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. Exponent’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 40.98%.

In other Exponent news, CEO Paul R. Johnston sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.01, for a total transaction of $222,030.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 32,342 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,393,631.42. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Paul R. Johnston sold 3,696 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.86, for a total value of $261,898.56. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 42,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,004,038.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 17,748 shares of company stock valued at $1,274,420. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its holdings in shares of Exponent by 2.3% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 82,446 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $6,093,000 after buying an additional 1,846 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Exponent in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $242,000. Stifel Financial Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Exponent in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $249,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Exponent by 18.5% in the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 137,757 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $10,181,000 after buying an additional 21,547 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Citadel Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Exponent by 8.8% in the 3rd quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 11,537 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $853,000 after buying an additional 933 shares during the last quarter. 88.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Exponent

Exponent, Inc (Exponent), along with its subsidiaries, is a science and engineering consulting company. Exponent provides engineering and scientific consulting services to clients around the world. Its service offerings are provided on a project-by-project basis. It operates in two segments: Engineering and Other Scientific, and Environmental and Health.

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