Nanometrics (NANO) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $34.00 price target 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. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on NANO. ValuEngine upgraded Nanometrics from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, October 12th. BidaskClub upgraded Nanometrics from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 17th. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Nanometrics from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $40.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Finally, Benchmark cut their target price on Nanometrics from $43.00 to $37.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Nanometrics currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $32.75.

NANO stock opened at $29.06 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $703.72 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.21, a P/E/G ratio of 1.50 and a beta of 1.73. Nanometrics has a 1 year low of $24.16 and a 1 year high of $48.26.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The semiconductor company reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $77.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $72.65 million. Nanometrics had a return on equity of 20.36% and a net margin of 17.76%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.53 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Nanometrics will post 1.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Pierre-Yves Lesaicherre sold 6,856 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.31, for a total transaction of $214,661.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Greg Swyt sold 948 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.87, for a total transaction of $29,264.76. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 9,884 shares in the company, valued at $305,119.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 10,201 shares of company stock worth $315,750. Company insiders own 6.90% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NANO. Penserra Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Nanometrics by 64.2% during the fourth quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 1,563 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $42,000 after purchasing an additional 611 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Nanometrics by 126.2% during the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,273 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $61,000 after purchasing an additional 1,268 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Nanometrics by 68.8% during the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,879 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $79,000 after purchasing an additional 1,173 shares in the last quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new stake in shares of Nanometrics during the fourth quarter valued at about $106,000. Finally, O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Nanometrics during the third quarter valued at about $128,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.48% 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 worldwide. It offers automated metrology systems that provide optical critical dimension, thin film metrology, and wafer stress 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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