Photronics Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Photronics is a leading worldwide manufacturer of photomasks. Photomasks are high precision quartz plates that contain microscopic images of electronic circuits. A key element in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat panel displays, photomasks are used to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel substrates during the fabrication of integrated circuits, a variety of flat panel displays and, to a lesser extent, other types of electrical and optical components. They are produced in accordance with product designs provided by customers at strategically located manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe, and North America. “

Separately, DA Davidson reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $15.00 price target on shares of Photronics in a report on Monday, August 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $12.80.

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Shares of Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) opened at 9.87 on Wednesday. Photronics has a 52-week low of $8.56 and a 52-week high of $13.05. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $9.71 and its 200 day moving average price is $9.79. The company has a market capitalization of $673.00 million, a PE ratio of 12.11 and a beta of 1.08.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The company reported $0.12 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.02. Photronics had a net margin of 11.50% and a return on equity of 6.07%. The company had revenue of $123.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $123.54 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.17 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Photronics will post $0.55 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Walter M. Fiederowicz sold 21,250 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.95, for a total value of $211,437.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 42,250 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $420,387.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Joseph A. Fiorita, Jr. sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $10.00, for a total transaction of $120,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 161,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,611,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.12% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Trust Investment Advisors raised its stake in Photronics by 0.3% in the second quarter. Trust Investment Advisors now owns 48,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $435,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the period. BlackRock Advisors LLC raised its stake in Photronics by 1.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 31,138 shares of the company’s stock worth $277,000 after buying an additional 394 shares during the period. Guggenheim Capital LLC raised its stake in Photronics by 1.2% in the second quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 54,003 shares of the company’s stock worth $481,000 after buying an additional 630 shares during the period. Nationwide Fund Advisors raised its stake in Photronics by 1.6% in the second quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 57,469 shares of the company’s stock worth $512,000 after buying an additional 893 shares during the period. Finally, National Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Photronics by 11.5% in the second quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 12,044 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 1,247 shares during the period.

Photronics Company Profile

Photronics, Inc is a manufacturer of photomasks, which are photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits. The Company supports customers across the full spectrum of integrated circuit (IC) production and flat panel display (FPD) technologies by manufacturing photomasks using electron beam or optical (laser-based) systems.

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