Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, 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. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on NANO. Benchmark reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $39.00 target price on shares of Nanometrics in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. BidaskClub raised shares of Nanometrics from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. B. Riley initiated coverage on shares of Nanometrics in a research note on Wednesday, June 19th. They set a buy rating and a $41.00 target price on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Nanometrics from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $40.00.

Shares of NANO opened at $31.83 on Friday. Nanometrics has a 52-week low of $25.52 and a 52-week high of $38.60. The company has a quick ratio of 4.01, a current ratio of 5.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.02. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $28.91 and its two-hundred day moving average is $31.19. The stock has a market cap of $796.99 million, a PE ratio of 13.43 and a beta of 1.64.

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

In other news, Director Timothy J. Stultz sold 47,986 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the director now owns 257,249 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,014,004.96. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. In the last three months, insiders have sold 48,711 shares of company stock worth $1,707,000. Corporate insiders own 6.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Intrinsic Edge Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Nanometrics during the 2nd quarter valued at about $5,169,000. Magnetar Financial LLC purchased a new stake in Nanometrics in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,096,000. Verition Fund Management LLC purchased a new stake in Nanometrics in the 2nd quarter valued at about $224,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Nanometrics by 884.0% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 107,348 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $3,726,000 after buying an additional 96,439 shares during the period. Finally, Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its holdings in Nanometrics by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 787,000 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $27,317,000 after buying an additional 4,467 shares during the period. 89.00% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Nanometrics

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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