Astec Industries Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE) has been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the seven analysts that are covering the firm. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price objective among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $60.25.

ASTE has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Astec Industries from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Maxim Group upped their target price on Astec Industries from $60.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on Astec Industries from $63.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th.

In other news, insider Tommie Kruger sold 1,945 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.36, for a total value of $123,235.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider John J. Irvine III sold 3,221 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.51, for a total value of $207,786.71. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Astec Industries by 3.0% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,503,623 shares of the company’s stock worth $84,427,000 after buying an additional 44,434 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Astec Industries by 4.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,482,178 shares of the company’s stock worth $83,225,000 after buying an additional 59,204 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Astec Industries by 8.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 1,349,065 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,769,000 after buying an additional 110,790 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in shares of Astec Industries by 0.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 492,426 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,482,000 after buying an additional 3,934 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Astec Industries by 187.4% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 396,007 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,709,000 after buying an additional 258,198 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.24% of the company’s stock.

Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) opened at 63.47 on Thursday. Astec Industries has a 1-year low of $33.08 and a 1-year high of $67.93. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $59.15 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.02. The company has a market cap of $1.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.58 and a beta of 1.29.

Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.35 by $0.05. Astec Industries had a net margin of 4.48% and a return on equity of 7.36%. The business had revenue of $247.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $244.36 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.10 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 17.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Astec Industries will post $2.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 28th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 8th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.63%. Astec Industries’s payout ratio is presently 19.80%.

About Astec Industries

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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