AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Wednesday following a stronger than expected earnings report. 4,678,705 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 1,710% from the previous session’s volume of 258,451 shares.The stock last traded at $54.47 and had previously closed at $43.25.

The aerospace company reported $0.29 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.01) by $0.30. AeroVironment had a return on equity of 8.34% and a net margin of 10.42%. The business had revenue of $73.83 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $63.53 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.18) EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 47.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on AVAV. Canaccord Genuity increased their target price on AeroVironment from $40.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $35.00 target price on shares of AeroVironment in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered AeroVironment from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $36.00 target price on shares of AeroVironment in a research report on Thursday, August 31st. Finally, ValuEngine lowered AeroVironment from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $39.00.

In related news, Chairman Timothy E. Conver sold 7,600 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.00, for a total value of $410,400.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Timothy E. Conver sold 3,800 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.14, for a total value of $167,732.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 58,138 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,566,211.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 36,200 shares of company stock valued at $1,806,496. 11.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in AeroVironment by 3.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,333,627 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $127,344,000 after purchasing an additional 116,654 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in AeroVironment by 3.7% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,929,825 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $73,719,000 after purchasing an additional 68,232 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in AeroVironment by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,490,349 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $56,930,000 after purchasing an additional 44,670 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new position in AeroVironment in the 2nd quarter valued at $39,724,000. Finally, State Street Corp raised its stake in AeroVironment by 7.6% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 669,665 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $25,580,000 after purchasing an additional 47,582 shares during the last quarter. 74.65% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The firm has a market cap of $1,031.09, a P/E ratio of 33.01, a P/E/G ratio of 4.71 and a beta of 1.16.

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About AeroVironment

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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