Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS) Downgraded to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note released on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Brooks Automation is a leading worldwide provider of automation, vacuum, and instrumentation solutions for multiple markets including semiconductor manufacturing, life sciences, and clean energy. Their technologies, engineering competencies, and global service capabilities provide customers speed to market, and ensure high uptime and rapid response, which equate to superior value in their mission-critical controlled environments. Since 1978, they have been a leading partner to the global semiconductor manufacturing market and through product development initiatives and strategic business acquisitions; they have expanded their reach to meet the needs of customers in the life sciences industry, analytical & research markets, and clean energy solutions. “

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine downgraded Brooks Automation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 3rd. BidaskClub raised Brooks Automation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday. Citigroup cut their target price on Brooks Automation from $50.00 to $44.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Monday. Finally, TheStreet raised Brooks Automation from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Brooks Automation currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $43.00.

Shares of NASDAQ BRKS traded down $1.22 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $41.31. The company had a trading volume of 348,429 shares, compared to its average volume of 420,223. The stock has a market cap of $3.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.86 and a beta of 1.41. Brooks Automation has a 12 month low of $28.42 and a 12 month high of $50.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06, a current ratio of 2.34 and a quick ratio of 1.97. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $41.30 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $39.53.

Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 6th. The semiconductor company reported $0.23 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.23. The firm had revenue of $210.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $207.24 million. Brooks Automation had a return on equity of 6.41% and a net margin of 53.68%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.17 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Brooks Automation will post 1.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 27th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 6th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 5th. Brooks Automation’s payout ratio is currently 51.95%.

In other news, insider David C. Gray sold 25,317 shares of Brooks Automation stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.25, for a total transaction of $1,145,594.25. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 110,018 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,978,314.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen S. Schwartz sold 108,391 shares of Brooks Automation stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.25, for a total value of $4,904,692.75. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 714,871 shares in the company, valued at $32,347,912.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 229,503 shares of company stock worth $10,316,891. 2.66% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BRKS. CWM LLC acquired a new position in shares of Brooks Automation during the 4th quarter valued at $31,000. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI acquired a new position in shares of Brooks Automation during the 4th quarter valued at $31,000. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Brooks Automation during the 4th quarter valued at $38,000. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. increased its position in shares of Brooks Automation by 475.5% during the 4th quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 1,105 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $46,000 after purchasing an additional 913 shares during the period. Finally, Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Brooks Automation during the 4th quarter valued at $46,000. Institutional investors own 98.53% of the company’s stock.

Brooks Automation Company Profile

Brooks Automation, Inc provides automation and cryogenic solutions for various markets. The company operates in two segments, Brooks Semiconductor Solutions Group and Brooks Life Science Systems. The Brooks Semiconductor Solutions Group segment offers mission-critical wafer automation and contamination controls solutions and services.

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