Veeco Instruments Sees Unusually High Options Volume (NASDAQ:VECO)

Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VECO) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Traders purchased 671 call options on the company. This is an increase of 760% compared to the average daily volume of 78 call options.

VECO has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of Veeco Instruments from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Veeco Instruments from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Benchmark reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $23.00 price target on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $22.00 price target on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, KeyCorp lowered shares of Veeco Instruments to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Veeco Instruments has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $28.67.

In other news, CEO John R. Peeler bought 36,200 shares of Veeco Instruments stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $13.81 per share, with a total value of $499,922.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, President William John Miller bought 15,000 shares of Veeco Instruments stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $13.75 per share, with a total value of $206,250.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have acquired a total of 63,700 shares of company stock valued at $877,472 over the last three months. 2.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VECO. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Veeco Instruments by 32.9% during the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 4,143 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $115,000 after acquiring an additional 1,026 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC purchased a new position in Veeco Instruments during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $154,000. Stifel Financial Corp purchased a new position in Veeco Instruments during the second quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in Veeco Instruments during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $205,000. Finally, Aperio Group LLC purchased a new position in Veeco Instruments during the third quarter valued at approximately $218,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.36% of the company’s stock.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) remained flat at $$18.35 during midday trading on Wednesday. The company had a trading volume of 999,141 shares, compared to its average volume of 776,078. The company has a current ratio of 2.67, a quick ratio of 2.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33. Veeco Instruments has a 1-year low of $10.85 and a 1-year high of $34.38. The firm has a market capitalization of $912.91, a P/E ratio of -18.54 and a beta of 0.78.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 12th. The semiconductor company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by $0.10. Veeco Instruments had a negative net margin of 9.24% and a negative return on equity of 0.12%. The business had revenue of $143.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $143.85 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.09 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 53.2% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Veeco Instruments will post 0.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Veeco Instruments announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Monday, December 11th that permits the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the semiconductor company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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Veeco Instruments Company Profile

Veeco Instruments Inc is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and support of thin film process equipment, primarily sold to make electronic devices. The Company’s geographical segments include the United States; China; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Rest of World (ROW). The Company’s portfolio of technology solutions focus on market areas, including Lighting, Display & Power Electronics; Advanced Packaging, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) & radio frequency (RF); Scientific & Industrial, and Data Storage.

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