Shares of AeroVironment Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 162,993 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 70% from the previous session’s volume of 95,923 shares.The stock last traded at $29.57 and had previously closed at $29.47.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $36.00 target price on shares of AeroVironment in a report on Wednesday, June 1st. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $27.00 target price on shares of AeroVironment in a report on Friday, August 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of AeroVironment from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity set a $28.00 target price on shares of AeroVironment and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 11th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. AeroVironment currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.50.

The stock has a market capitalization of $676.49 million and a P/E ratio of 75.64. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $28.32 and its 200-day moving average is $28.06.

AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, June 28th. The company reported $0.23 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.07) by $0.30. The firm earned $84.76 million during the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.31 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that AeroVironment Inc. will post $0.30 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Wahid Nawabi sold 2,634 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.49, for a total value of $72,408.66. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 36,760 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,010,532.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Raymond D. Cook sold 1,121 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.49, for a total value of $30,816.29. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 13,879 shares in the company, valued at $381,533.71. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

An institutional investor recently bought a new position in AeroVironment stock. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new stake in AeroVironment Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund purchased 41,900 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,235,000. Marshall Wace LLP owned 0.18% of AeroVironment as of its most recent SEC filing.

AeroVironment, Inc designs, develops, produces, supports and operates a portfolio of products and services for government agencies, businesses and consumers. The Company operates through two segments: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), which focuses primarily on the design, development, production, support and operation of UAS and tactical missile systems that provide situational awareness, multi-band communications, force protection and other mission effects, and Efficient Energy Systems (EES), which focuses primarily on the design, development, production, marketing, support and operation of electric energy systems.

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