Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American Vanguard (NYSE:AVD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $19.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “American Vanguard Corporation is a diversified specialty and agricultural products company focusing on crop protection, turf and ornamental markets, and public health applications. The Company has continued its successful strategy of acquiring or licensing both new and well-established product lines that serve numerous high valued market niches. New product development and international expansion also provide an additional stimulus for growth. Through skilful marketing, diligent product registration, quality manufacturing, American Vanguard has positioned itself to capitalize on developing trends in modern agriculture. American Vanguard continues to meet the needs of a world demanding ever-increasing quantities of agricultural products for human food, animal feed, natural fibers and alternative fuels. “

Separately, ValuEngine downgraded American Vanguard from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 8th.

NYSE AVD traded down $0.50 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $16.74. The company had a trading volume of 72,464 shares, compared to its average volume of 68,174. American Vanguard has a 52 week low of $15.31 and a 52 week high of $24.00. The company has a quick ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 2.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30. The company has a market cap of $505.74 million, a P/E ratio of 29.37 and a beta of 1.13.

American Vanguard (NYSE:AVD) last issued its earnings results on Monday, November 5th. The basic materials company reported $0.22 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.01. American Vanguard had a return on equity of 6.90% and a net margin of 5.73%. The business had revenue of $112.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $119.20 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.14 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 24.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that American Vanguard will post 0.8 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 17th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 3rd were paid a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, October 2nd. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.48%. American Vanguard’s dividend payout ratio is currently 14.04%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in American Vanguard by 7.4% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,213,602 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $75,843,000 after purchasing an additional 291,248 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in American Vanguard by 2.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 463,778 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $8,348,000 after purchasing an additional 10,596 shares during the period. Heartland Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in American Vanguard by 4.4% in the 3rd quarter. Heartland Advisors Inc. now owns 886,657 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $15,960,000 after purchasing an additional 37,349 shares during the period. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky boosted its stake in American Vanguard by 62.2% in the 3rd quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 10,431 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $188,000 after purchasing an additional 4,000 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in American Vanguard by 10.4% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 90,423 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,627,000 after purchasing an additional 8,502 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.31% of the company’s stock.

American Vanguard Company Profile

American Vanguard Corporation, through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets specialty chemicals for agricultural, commercial, and consumer uses in the United States and internationally. The company manufactures and formulates chemicals, including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, molluscicides, growth regulators, and soil fumigants in liquid, powder, and granular forms for crops, turf and ornamental plants, and human and animal health protection.

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