Astec Industries Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE)’s share price fell 2.2% during trading on Friday . The stock traded as low as $57.69 and last traded at $57.70, with a volume of 106,224 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $59.00.

Several research firms recently commented on ASTE. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Astec Industries from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Maxim Group increased their target price on Astec Industries from $60.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Astec Industries from $63.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Robert W. Baird downgraded Astec Industries from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, BB&T Corp. restated a “hold” rating on shares of Astec Industries in a research report on Tuesday, July 12th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $53.78.

The firm has a 50-day moving average of $57.45 and a 200-day moving average of $49.04. The stock has a market cap of $1.33 billion and a PE ratio of 31.90.

Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.75 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $294.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $283.44 million. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.51 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Astec Industries Inc. will post $2.41 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 29th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 11th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 9th.

In related news, Vice Chairman W Norman Smith sold 10,000 shares of Astec Industries stock in a transaction on Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.22, for a total transaction of $602,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 9,390 shares in the company, valued at approximately $565,465.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Stephen C. Anderson sold 1,070 shares of Astec Industries stock in a transaction on Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.59, for a total transaction of $64,831.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Argent Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Astec Industries by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Argent Capital Management LLC now owns 53,925 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,195,000 after buying an additional 275 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its position in Astec Industries by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 35,138 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,430,000 after buying an additional 625 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in Astec Industries by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 32,821 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,336,000 after buying an additional 740 shares during the period. Employees Retirement System of Texas boosted its position in Astec Industries by 40.0% in the fourth quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 66,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,707,000 after buying an additional 19,000 shares during the period. Finally, Broadview Advisors LLC boosted its position in Astec Industries by 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Broadview Advisors LLC now owns 453,550 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,459,000 after buying an additional 58,600 shares during the period.

Astec Industries, Inc designs, engineers, manufactures and markets equipment and components used primarily in road building and related construction activities. The Company’s products are used in each phase of road building, from quarrying and crushing the aggregate to application of the road surface.

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