Shares of Exponent Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) saw strong trading volume on Friday . 270,089 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 86% from the previous session’s volume of 145,459 shares.The stock last traded at $49.12 and had previously closed at $50.40.

Several equities analysts have commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Exponent from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, April 22nd. Avondale Partners assumed coverage on Exponent in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $60.00 price objective on the stock.

The firm has a market cap of $1.28 billion and a P/E ratio of 28.07. The company’s 50-day moving average is $53.78 and its 200 day moving average is $51.39.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $77.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $80.46 million. On average, analysts expect that Exponent Inc. will post $1.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 23rd. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd will be issued a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.47%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st.

In related news, CEO Paul R. Johnston sold 6,006 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.31, for a total value of $338,197.86. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 81,036 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,563,137.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Paul R. Johnston sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.01, for a total transaction of $250,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 97,542 shares in the company, valued at $4,878,075.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Exponent by 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 326,619 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,314,000 after buying an additional 42,025 shares during the period. Comerica Bank increased its stake in Exponent by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 27,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,322,000 after buying an additional 203 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers increased its stake in Exponent by 6.3% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 33,165 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,657,000 after buying an additional 1,980 shares during the period. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in Exponent by 74.9% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 26,087 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,303,000 after buying an additional 11,171 shares during the period.

Exponent, Inc, along with its subsidiaries, is a science and engineering consulting company. The Company operates through two segments: Engineering and Other Scientific, and Environmental and Health. Its Engineering and Other Scientific segment includes biomechanics, biomedical engineering, buildings and structures, civil engineering, construction consulting, electrical engineering and computer science, engineering management consulting, human factors, industrial structures, materials and corrosion engineering, mechanical engineering, polymer science and materials chemistry, technology development, thermal sciences and vehicle analysis services.

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