Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $31.00 target price on the semiconductor company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Nanometrics is a leading provider of advanced, high-performance process control metrology and inspection systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, such as data storage components and discrete including high-brightness LEDs and power management components. It’s automated and integrated metrology systems measure critical dimensions, device structures, overlay registration, topography and various thin film properties, including film thickness as well as optical, electrical and material properties. The company’s process control solutions are deployed throughout the fabrication process, from front-end-of-line substrate manufacturing, to high-volume production of semiconductors and other devices, to advanced wafer-scale packaging applications. Nanometrics’ systems enable advanced process control for device manufacturers, providing improved device yield at reduced manufacturing cycle time, supporting the accelerated product life cycles in the semiconductor market. “
Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub cut Nanometrics from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 6th. Benchmark reiterated a buy rating and set a $33.00 target price (down previously from $34.00) on shares of Nanometrics in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th.
Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The semiconductor company reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.47 by $0.06. Nanometrics had a return on equity of 12.05% and a net margin of 11.68%. The firm had revenue of $78.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $76.95 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.33 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 32.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Nanometrics will post 1.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Nanometrics declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, November 15th that permits the company to buyback $50.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the semiconductor company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Nanometrics news, Director Bruce C. Rhine sold 3,333 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.76, for a total transaction of $89,191.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 738,494 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,762,099.44. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Timothy J. Stultz sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.77, for a total value of $555,400.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 332,087 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,222,055.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 61,088 shares of company stock valued at $1,635,843 in the last 90 days. 6.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NANO. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in Nanometrics by 3.5% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 17,373 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $439,000 after buying an additional 593 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Nanometrics by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 300,299 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $7,594,000 after purchasing an additional 8,391 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Nanometrics by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,316,237 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $33,287,000 after purchasing an additional 37,840 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its holdings in shares of Nanometrics by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 18,968 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $480,000 after purchasing an additional 585 shares during the period. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP purchased a new position in shares of Nanometrics in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $580,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.53% of the company’s stock.
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Nanometrics Company Profile
Nanometrics Incorporated is a provider of process control metrology and inspection systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, including sensors, optoelectronic devices, high-brightness (HB) light emitting diodes (LEDs), discretes and data storages components.
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