Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

A number of other analysts also recently commented on NANO. Zacks Investment Research raised Nanometrics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Benchmark reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price target on shares of Nanometrics in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $31.67.

Shares of Nanometrics (NANO) traded down $0.41 on Wednesday, hitting $24.59. The company had a trading volume of 139,430 shares, compared to its average volume of 182,047. The stock has a market capitalization of $629.38, a P/E ratio of 23.64, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 1.75. Nanometrics has a one year low of $23.73 and a one year high of $32.42.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The semiconductor company reported $0.22 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $56.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $56.53 million. Nanometrics had a return on equity of 10.26% and a net margin of 19.23%. Nanometrics’s revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.33 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Nanometrics will post 1.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Nanometrics announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, November 15th that allows the company to buyback $50.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the semiconductor company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, CFO Jeff Andreson sold 7,233 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.11, for a total transaction of $196,086.63. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 14,166 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.93, for a total value of $367,324.38. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 294,817 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,644,604.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 61,399 shares of company stock valued at $1,649,811 over the last ninety days. 6.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Pacad Investment Ltd. purchased a new stake in Nanometrics in the second quarter worth $106,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its position in Nanometrics by 79.4% in the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 4,988 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 2,208 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in Nanometrics in the third quarter worth $158,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in Nanometrics by 63.8% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,883 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $199,000 after buying an additional 3,071 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky increased its position in Nanometrics by 29.6% in the first quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 7,000 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $213,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares during the last quarter. 83.27% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Nanometrics

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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