Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

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 topic of a number of other reports. B. Riley initiated coverage on Nanometrics in a research note on Wednesday, June 19th. They issued a buy rating and a $41.00 price objective on the stock. DA Davidson raised Nanometrics from a neutral rating to a buy rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $40.00 in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Benchmark reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $39.00 price target on shares of Nanometrics in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. ValuEngine downgraded Nanometrics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, BidaskClub raised Nanometrics from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $40.00.

NANO stock traded down $0.23 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $28.25. 189,759 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 243,228. The company has a market cap of $707.11 million, a PE ratio of 11.92 and a beta of 1.60. Nanometrics has a 52 week low of $25.52 and a 52 week high of $48.26. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $33.34. The company has a quick ratio of 4.01, a current ratio of 5.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.02.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The semiconductor company reported $0.21 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.21. The firm had revenue of $67.62 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $65.38 million. Nanometrics had a return on equity of 10.97% and a net margin of 10.58%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 23.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.71 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Nanometrics will post 1.38 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Timothy J. Stultz sold 12,014 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.17, for a total transaction of $422,532.38. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 239,263 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,414,879.71. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Timothy J. Stultz sold 47,986 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.04, for a total transaction of $1,681,429.44. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 257,249 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,014,004.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 60,725 shares of company stock valued at $2,129,533. 6.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Arizona State Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of Nanometrics by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 38,059 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $1,321,000 after buying an additional 320 shares in the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Nanometrics by 4.5% in the 1st quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 7,857 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $243,000 after purchasing an additional 337 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans lifted its stake in Nanometrics by 2.2% in the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 17,117 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $468,000 after purchasing an additional 376 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers lifted its stake in Nanometrics by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 67,572 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $2,087,000 after purchasing an additional 429 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL lifted its stake in Nanometrics by 5.2% in the 1st quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 12,200 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $377,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.99% of the company’s stock.

Nanometrics Company Profile

Nanometrics Incorporated provides process control metrology and inspection systems for use primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, and industrial and scientific applications worldwide. The company offers automated metrology systems that provide optical critical dimension, thin film metrology, and wafer stress metrology for transistor and interconnect metrology applications; and integrated metrology systems that are installed onto wafer processing equipment to provide near real-time measurements.

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