Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday.
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 brokerages have also recently commented on NANO. BidaskClub cut shares of Nanometrics from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Benchmark reissued a buy rating and issued a $33.00 price target (down previously from $34.00) on shares of Nanometrics in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th.
Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The semiconductor company reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.47 by $0.06. Nanometrics had a net margin of 11.68% and a return on equity of 12.05%. The firm had revenue of $78.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $76.95 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.33 earnings per share. Nanometrics’s revenue for the quarter was up 32.1% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Nanometrics will post 1.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Nanometrics declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, November 15th that authorizes the company to repurchase $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the semiconductor company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, General Counsel Janet Therese Taylor sold 1,654 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.54, for a total value of $40,589.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Kevin Heidrich sold 2,546 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.39, for a total value of $67,188.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 32,254 shares in the company, valued at approximately $851,183.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 61,088 shares of company stock worth $1,635,843 in the last three months. 6.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Nanometrics by 3.0% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,229,719 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $80,486,000 after acquiring an additional 95,367 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in Nanometrics by 4.9% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,442,355 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $41,540,000 after acquiring an additional 67,827 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Nanometrics by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,316,237 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $33,287,000 after acquiring an additional 37,840 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in Nanometrics by 0.4% during the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 987,400 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $24,606,000 after acquiring an additional 4,300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hood River Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Nanometrics by 2.3% during the 3rd quarter. Hood River Capital Management LLC now owns 900,806 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $25,943,000 after acquiring an additional 20,194 shares in the last quarter. 85.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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