Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ:NANO) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 865,320 shares, an increase of 36.0% from the August 15th total of 636,323 shares. Currently, 3.6% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 208,003 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.2 days.

A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on NANO shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Nanometrics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Stifel Nicolaus raised Nanometrics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $29.00 to $31.00 in a report on Friday, June 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Benchmark Co. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price target on shares of Nanometrics in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Nanometrics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $31.50.

Shares of Nanometrics (NANO) opened at 26.60 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $25.73 and a 200-day moving average of $27.50. Nanometrics has a 12 month low of $18.65 and a 12 month high of $32.42. The firm has a market cap of $678.17 million, a P/E ratio of 14.15 and a beta of 1.74.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The semiconductor company reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.31 by ($0.01). Nanometrics had a return on equity of 11.95% and a net margin of 19.94%. The firm had revenue of $64.43 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $66.37 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.26 EPS. Nanometrics’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Nanometrics will post $1.20 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.17, for a total transaction of $523,400.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 300,651 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,868,036.67. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, General Counsel Janet Therese Taylor sold 2,505 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.65, for a total value of $64,253.25. Following the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 35,833 shares in the company, valued at approximately $919,116.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 64,545 shares of company stock worth $1,668,963. Corporate insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Pacad Investment Ltd. bought a new position in Nanometrics in the 2nd quarter worth about $106,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its position in Nanometrics by 15.0% in the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,812 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $147,000 after purchasing an additional 626 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue grew its position in Nanometrics by 79.4% in the 2nd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 4,988 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $126,000 after purchasing an additional 2,208 shares during the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC grew its position in Nanometrics by 643.3% in the 1st quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 5,783 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $176,000 after purchasing an additional 5,005 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC grew its position in Nanometrics by 8.0% in the 1st quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 5,883 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $179,000 after purchasing an additional 438 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.28% of the company’s stock.

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Nanometrics Company Profile

Nanometrics Incorporated is a provider of process control metrology and inspection systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, including sensors, optoelectronic devices, high-brightness (HB) light emitting diodes (LEDs), discretes and data storages components.

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