American Vanguard Corp. (NYSE:AVD) shares shot up 1.9% on Friday . The company traded as high as $15.80 and last traded at $15.73, with a volume of 80,833 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $15.43.

A number of research firms have weighed in on AVD. Zacks Investment Research downgraded American Vanguard Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 11th. BB&T Corp. downgraded American Vanguard Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Roth Capital downgraded American Vanguard Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $19.00 to $14.50 in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. American Vanguard Corp. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $13.17.

The company has a market capitalization of $459.39 million and a price-to-earnings ratio of 48.49. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $14.77 and a 200 day moving average price of $14.02.

American Vanguard Corp. (NYSE:AVD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 3rd. The company reported $0.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.04. The company earned $69.47 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $71.71 million. The company’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that American Vanguard Corp. will post $0.49 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 30th were issued a $0.01 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 28th. This represents a $0.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.25%.

In related news, insider Ulrich Trogele purchased 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 9th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $13.25 per share, for a total transaction of $198,750.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 67,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $895,753. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of American Vanguard Corp. by 10.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,642,801 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,016,000 after buying an additional 160,412 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in shares of American Vanguard Corp. by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 564,928 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,915,000 after buying an additional 18,471 shares during the period. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its position in shares of American Vanguard Corp. by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 123,634 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,732,000 after buying an additional 3,634 shares during the period.

American Vanguard Corporation (AVD) operates as a holding company. The Company is primarily a specialty chemical manufacturer that develops and markets products for agricultural, commercial and consumer uses. It manufactures and formulates chemicals for crops, human and animal protection. It conducts its business through its subsidiaries, which include AMVAC Chemical Corporation (AMVAC), GemChem, Inc, 2110 Davie Corporation, Quimica Amvac de Mexico SA de C.V., AMVAC Mexico Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, AMVAC de Costa Rica Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, AMVAC Switzerland GmbH, AMVAC do Brasil Representacoes Ltda, AMVAC CV, AMVAC Netherlands BV and Envance Technologies, LLC.

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