American Vanguard (AVD) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

American Vanguard (NYSE:AVD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

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. “

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Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Roth Capital reissued a “buy” rating on shares of American Vanguard in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. ValuEngine raised American Vanguard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $25.00.

Shares of American Vanguard traded up $0.35, hitting $21.70, during midday trading on Thursday, according to Marketbeat.com. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 94,332 shares, compared to its average volume of 112,949. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a quick ratio of 1.09 and a current ratio of 2.15. American Vanguard has a 12-month low of $21.32 and a 12-month high of $21.55. The company has a market cap of $637.63 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.07 and a beta of 1.19.

American Vanguard (NYSE:AVD) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 8th. The basic materials company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.03. American Vanguard had a return on equity of 6.01% and a net margin of 5.52%. The firm had revenue of $104.11 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $103.81 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.12 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 47.3% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that American Vanguard will post 0.82 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Alfred F. Ingulli sold 10,413 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total value of $220,443.21. Following the transaction, the director now owns 10,414 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $220,464.38. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 5.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. First Trust Advisors LP grew its stake in American Vanguard by 13.4% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 23,470 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $461,000 after purchasing an additional 2,766 shares in the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan boosted its position in American Vanguard by 11.2% during the 4th quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 49,150 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $966,000 after acquiring an additional 4,970 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio boosted its position in American Vanguard by 14.3% during the 4th quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 40,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $786,000 after acquiring an additional 5,000 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in American Vanguard by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 205,454 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $4,150,000 after acquiring an additional 5,190 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in American Vanguard by 84.3% during the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 13,468 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $272,000 after acquiring an additional 6,161 shares in the last quarter. 76.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About American Vanguard

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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