BidaskClub downgraded shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Benchmark reissued a buy rating and set a $34.00 price target on shares of Nanometrics in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Zacks Investment Research raised Nanometrics from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $31.67.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ NANO) traded down $0.41 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $24.59. The company had a trading volume of 139,430 shares, compared to its average volume of 182,047. The firm has a market cap of $639.87, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.04, a P/E/G ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 1.75. Nanometrics has a twelve month low of $23.73 and a twelve month high of $32.42.

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

Nanometrics announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Wednesday, November 15th that authorizes the company to repurchase $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the semiconductor company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Nanometrics news, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 14,166 shares of the 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 sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 294,817 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,644,604.81. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.17, for a total value of $523,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 300,651 shares in the company, valued at $7,868,036.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 61,399 shares of company stock worth $1,649,811 over the last ninety days. 6.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NANO. Hood River Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Nanometrics by 72.5% during the second quarter. Hood River Capital Management LLC now owns 880,612 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $22,271,000 after purchasing an additional 370,127 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Nanometrics by 892.7% during the second quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 396,002 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $10,015,000 after purchasing an additional 356,109 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in shares of Nanometrics by 161.7% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 368,507 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $10,539,000 after purchasing an additional 227,710 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Nanometrics by 134.9% during the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 351,648 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $8,894,000 after purchasing an additional 201,969 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Nanometrics by 13.2% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,374,528 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $34,762,000 after purchasing an additional 160,595 shares during the period. 83.27% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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