Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) reached a new 52-week high on Friday . The stock traded as high as $71.49 and last traded at $71.35, with a volume of 10716 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $70.05.

EXPO has been the topic of several recent research reports. ValuEngine downgraded Exponent from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. SunTrust Banks set a $70.00 price objective on Exponent and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. BidaskClub raised Exponent from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald raised their price objective on Exponent from $64.00 to $73.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Exponent from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $76.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, July 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $73.00.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 3.60 and a current ratio of 3.60. The company has a market cap of $3.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 57.11 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a fifty day moving average of $64.63 and a two-hundred day moving average of $58.43.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 18th. The business services provider reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.06. Exponent had a return on equity of 23.44% and a net margin of 19.64%. The company had revenue of $106.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $95.77 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.34 EPS. Exponent’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Exponent, Inc. will post 1.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 20th. Investors of record on Friday, September 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 5th. Exponent’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 51.20%.

In other Exponent news, insider Harri Kytomaa sold 2,000 shares of Exponent stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.09, for a total transaction of $140,180.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 9,399 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $658,775.91. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider John Pye sold 3,000 shares of Exponent stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.31, for a total value of $210,930.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 25,747 shares in the company, valued at $1,810,271.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Exponent in the 2nd quarter worth about $34,946,000. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Exponent in the 4th quarter worth about $27,435,000. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Exponent by 39.8% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 993,288 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $57,333,000 after acquiring an additional 282,530 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its position in shares of Exponent by 82.4% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 359,112 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $21,023,000 after acquiring an additional 162,208 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Exponent by 4.4% in the 2nd quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 2,422,012 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $141,785,000 after acquiring an additional 102,845 shares in the last quarter. 88.68% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO)

Exponent, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a science and engineering consulting company worldwide. Its services include analysis of product development, product recall, regulatory compliance, and the discovery of potential problems related to products, people, property, and impending litigation.

Featured Story: Intrinsic Value

Receive News & Ratings for Exponent Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Exponent and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.