Nanometrics (NANO) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

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. “

NANO has been the subject of several other research reports. BidaskClub downgraded Nanometrics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Benchmark restated a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 target price on shares of Nanometrics in a research note on Friday, October 13th.

Shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ NANO) traded up $0.16 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $25.65. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 149,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 161,400. Nanometrics has a fifty-two week low of $23.73 and a fifty-two week high of $32.42. The company has a market cap of $652.41, a P/E ratio of 14.33, a P/E/G ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.75.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The semiconductor company reported $0.22 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.01. Nanometrics had a return on equity of 10.26% and a net margin of 19.23%. The business had revenue of $56.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $56.53 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.33 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Nanometrics will post 1.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Nanometrics declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, November 15th that authorizes the company to repurchase $50.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the semiconductor company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 20,000 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.15, for a total transaction of $563,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 14,166 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.93, for a total value of $367,324.38. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 294,817 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,644,604.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 34,781 shares of company stock valued at $945,656. 6.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Pacad Investment Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Nanometrics during the 2nd quarter valued at about $106,000. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Nanometrics during the 3rd quarter valued at about $158,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of Nanometrics by 63.8% during the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,883 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $199,000 after acquiring an additional 3,071 shares during the last quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL bought a new stake in shares of Nanometrics during the 2nd quarter valued at about $217,000. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Nanometrics by 36.9% during the 3rd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,824 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $225,000 after acquiring an additional 2,109 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.17% 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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