Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VECO) was the target of some unusual options trading on Monday. Stock investors purchased 829 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 963% compared to the average volume of 78 call options.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Shelton Capital Management purchased a new position in shares of Veeco Instruments in the 3rd quarter worth about $478,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Veeco Instruments by 7.0% in the 3rd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,266,600 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $27,105,000 after purchasing an additional 83,135 shares during the period. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC raised its holdings in shares of Veeco Instruments by 71.8% in the 3rd quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 16,414 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $351,000 after purchasing an additional 6,858 shares during the period. Royce & Associates LP raised its holdings in shares of Veeco Instruments by 63.6% in the 3rd quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 492,577 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $10,541,000 after purchasing an additional 191,500 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of Veeco Instruments by 3.2% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,953,177 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $63,198,000 after purchasing an additional 92,897 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.85% of the company’s stock.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ VECO) opened at $13.15 on Thursday. Veeco Instruments has a 12-month low of $10.85 and a 12-month high of $34.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 2.61 and a quick ratio of 2.11.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The semiconductor company reported $0.09 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.07) by $0.16. Veeco Instruments had a negative return on equity of 0.73% and a negative net margin of 10.16%. The firm had revenue of $131.87 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $134.97 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted ($0.05) earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 54.3% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Veeco Instruments will post -0.01 earnings per share for the current year.

Veeco Instruments declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Monday, December 11th that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the semiconductor company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on the company. KeyCorp reduced their price objective on Veeco Instruments from $34.00 to $31.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 18th. BidaskClub downgraded Veeco Instruments from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Benchmark restated a “buy” rating and issued a $33.00 price objective on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. ValuEngine downgraded Veeco Instruments from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $21.00 target price on Veeco Instruments and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 30th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.22.

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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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