Contrasting Camtek (CAMT) and Photronics (PLAB)

Camtek (NASDAQ: CAMT) and Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

18.3% of Camtek shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 96.1% of Photronics shares are held by institutional investors. 79.4% of Camtek shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.7% of Photronics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Camtek and Photronics’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Camtek $116.68 million 1.48 $13.85 million $0.08 60.88
Photronics $437.08 million 1.22 $111.14 million $0.20 38.75

Photronics has higher revenue and earnings than Camtek. Photronics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Camtek, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Camtek and Photronics, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Camtek 0 1 1 0 2.50
Photronics 0 2 1 0 2.33

Camtek currently has a consensus price target of $7.00, indicating a potential upside of 43.74%. Photronics has a consensus price target of $12.00, indicating a potential upside of 54.84%. Given Photronics’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Photronics is more favorable than Camtek.

Volatility & Risk

Camtek has a beta of 0.98, indicating that its stock price is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Photronics has a beta of 0.52, indicating that its stock price is 48% less volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Camtek and Photronics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Camtek 2.56% 15.32% 10.10%
Photronics 2.97% 1.34% 1.12%


Photronics beats Camtek on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Camtek

Camtek Ltd. provides automated and technological solutions for production processes and products yield, enabling and supporting customers’ technologies in the semiconductor fabrication and printed circuit board (PCB) industries. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and markets products mainly based on two core technologies: automated optical inspection (AOI) and functional ink technology (FIT). The Company’s AOI systems are computerized systems that optically inspect various types of electronic product components for defects caused during the manufacturing process. Its AOI systems are used for both production processes and for manufacturers in the semiconductor fabrication industry, as well as the printed circuit board industry. The Company’s AOI products incorporate image processing software and algorithms, as well as electro-optics and precision mechanics. In addition, the Company’s AOI systems use technology to handle a range of inspection and verification needs.

About Photronics

Photronics, Inc. is a manufacturer of photomasks, which are photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits. As of October 30, 2016, the Company operated principally from nine manufacturing facilities: two located in Europe, three in Taiwan, one in Korea and three in the United States. Photomasks are used in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat panel displays (FPDs), and are used as masters to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel substrates during the fabrication of integrated circuits (ICs), and a range of FPDs and other types of electrical and optical components. The Company offers reticle and photomask maintenance, including pellicle replacement, mask cleaning and re-certification, at all its sites across the world. Its products include Mature Binary, Advanced Binary Reticles, Phase Shift Masks-Embedded Attenuated Phase Shift Masks (EAPSM), Other Advanced Products and Large Area Masks.

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