Short Interest in Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) Expands By 21.0%

Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 984,200 shares, a growth of 21.0% from the December 15th total of 813,300 shares. Currently, 1.9% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 231,900 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.2 days.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on EXPO. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Exponent from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 3rd. Sidoti lifted their price target on shares of Exponent from $60.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, October 3rd. SunTrust Banks lifted their price target on shares of Exponent from $70.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 20th. William Blair reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Exponent in a report on Friday, October 18th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Exponent from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $75.25.

In other news, Director Paul R. Johnston sold 3,992 shares of Exponent stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.73, for a total transaction of $258,402.16. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 92,499 shares in the company, valued at $5,987,460.27. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Paul R. Johnston sold 8,677 shares of Exponent stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.28, for a total transaction of $592,465.56. Following the sale, the director now owns 58,896 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,021,418.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 90,411 shares of company stock valued at $5,799,835 over the last 90 days. 2.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Quest Capital Management Inc. ADV purchased a new stake in Exponent in the third quarter valued at approximately $25,000. CWM LLC grew its holdings in Exponent by 1,710.0% in the third quarter. CWM LLC now owns 362 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $25,000 after purchasing an additional 342 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its holdings in Exponent by 787.0% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 612 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 543 shares during the period. Price Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Exponent in the third quarter valued at approximately $63,000. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Exponent by 98.6% in the third quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,410 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $99,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.38% of the company’s stock.

Exponent stock opened at $70.55 on Wednesday. Exponent has a 1 year low of $47.10 and a 1 year high of $72.70. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $67.78 and a 200 day moving average price of $66.87. The company has a market cap of $3.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 56.44 and a beta of 0.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 3.48 and a current ratio of 3.48.

Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 17th. The business services provider reported $0.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.34 by $0.02. Exponent had a net margin of 19.88% and a return on equity of 23.62%. The firm had revenue of $101.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $100.17 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.32 earnings per share. Exponent’s revenue was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts predict that Exponent will post 1.5 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 20th. Investors of record on Friday, December 6th were issued a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 5th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.91%. Exponent’s payout ratio is 51.20%.

About Exponent

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.

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