KLA-Tencor Corp (NASDAQ:KLAC) was the target of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Stock traders acquired 1,564 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 964% compared to the typical daily volume of 147 put options.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on KLAC shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded KLA-Tencor from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. KeyCorp upgraded KLA-Tencor from a “sector weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $134.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, December 18th. Needham & Company LLC cut KLA-Tencor from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, January 8th. Citigroup upgraded KLA-Tencor from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded KLA-Tencor from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. KLA-Tencor presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $121.27.

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In related news, insider Richard P. Wallace sold 13,299 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.10, for a total value of $1,464,219.90. Following the sale, the insider now owns 43,442 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,782,964.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Ahmad A. Khan sold 2,975 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.71, for a total value of $296,637.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 23,445 shares of company stock worth $2,579,450. Insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of KLA-Tencor by 4,857.1% during the 3rd quarter. Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,470 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $367,000 after purchasing an additional 3,400 shares during the period. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of KLA-Tencor by 7.9% during the 3rd quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 33,885 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $3,592,000 after purchasing an additional 2,491 shares during the period. Cypress Capital Group purchased a new position in shares of KLA-Tencor during the 3rd quarter worth $336,000. E&G Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of KLA-Tencor by 36.0% during the 4th quarter. E&G Advisors LP now owns 6,800 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $714,000 after purchasing an additional 1,800 shares during the period. Finally, Oakbrook Investments LLC lifted its stake in shares of KLA-Tencor by 11.6% during the 4th quarter. Oakbrook Investments LLC now owns 14,115 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $1,483,000 after purchasing an additional 1,470 shares during the period. 91.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of KLA-Tencor stock opened at $118.06 on Thursday. KLA-Tencor has a 52 week low of $87.93 and a 52 week high of $123.96. The company has a quick ratio of 3.06, a current ratio of 3.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $18,164.80, a P/E ratio of 28.45 and a beta of 1.43.

KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The semiconductor company reported $1.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.73 by $0.24. KLA-Tencor had a return on equity of 85.81% and a net margin of 17.28%. The firm had revenue of $975.82 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $968.00 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.52 EPS. KLA-Tencor’s revenue was up 11.3% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that KLA-Tencor will post 7.71 earnings per share for the current year.

KLA-Tencor declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Monday, March 19th that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the semiconductor company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.54%. This is a positive change from KLA-Tencor’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. KLA-Tencor’s dividend payout ratio is currently 56.87%.

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About KLA-Tencor

KLA-Tencor Corporation (KLA-Tencor) is a supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nanoelectronics industries. The Company’s products are also used in a number of other high technology industries, including the light emitting diode (LED) and data storage industries, as well as general materials research.

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