Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) shares hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $68.60 and last traded at $68.60, with a volume of 125,855 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $67.85.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on EXPO shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Exponent from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price target (up from $69.00) on shares of Exponent in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Exponent from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Exponent from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th.

The stock has a market capitalization of $1.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.16 and a beta of 0.62. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $65.87 and its 200-day moving average price is $60.97.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 18th. The business services provider reported $0.51 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.10. Exponent had a net margin of 15.94% and a return on equity of 16.52%. The company had revenue of $84.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $79.30 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.38 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Exponent, Inc. will post $1.97 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be given a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. Exponent’s payout ratio is 43.52%.

In other Exponent news, insider Sally Shepard sold 1,255 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.37, for a total transaction of $82,039.35. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $101,977.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider John Pye sold 3,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.08, for a total transaction of $234,288.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 14,767 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $961,036.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 59,950 shares of company stock valued at $3,933,076. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in EXPO. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Exponent by 89.7% during the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 1,897 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 897 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Exponent during the first quarter valued at about $123,000. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Exponent by 15.4% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,131 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 284 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Exponent during the first quarter valued at about $132,000. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Exponent by 9.2% during the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,683 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $160,000 after buying an additional 226 shares during the last quarter. 88.26% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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