MKS Instruments (NASDAQ:MKSI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “MKS Instruments benefits from strong demand in Advanced Markets. The segment is winning contracts in areas including ultraviolet and immune lasers, advanced printed circuit boards and analytical instrumentation, primarily from customers based in the United States and Europe. Additionally, MKS Instruments won designs from its Light and Motion Division. Moreover, the addition of Electro Scientific Industries strengthens the company’s offerings in optics, photonics and laser markets and expands its addressable market by about $2.2 billion, which is a positive. Further, MKS Instruments continues to invest in semiconductor products like logic devices, 3D NAND and DRAM to benefit from any future opportunities. However, slowdown in the semiconductor capital equipment spending in the near term remains a major concern for the company. Shares have underperformed the industry in the past year.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Cowen reissued a “buy” rating on shares of MKS Instruments in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Benchmark raised their price target on MKS Instruments from $98.00 to $111.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. DA Davidson lifted their price objective on MKS Instruments to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. BidaskClub upgraded MKS Instruments from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Finally, ValuEngine raised MKS Instruments from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $109.00.

NASDAQ:MKSI opened at $97.15 on Monday. MKS Instruments has a 12 month low of $56.37 and a 12 month high of $122.77. The company has a market capitalization of $5.37 billion, a PE ratio of 12.41, a PEG ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 1.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18, a quick ratio of 4.10 and a current ratio of 5.56.

MKS Instruments (NASDAQ:MKSI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 29th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $1.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.51 by $0.03. MKS Instruments had a net margin of 18.93% and a return on equity of 23.96%. The business had revenue of $460.54 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $440.68 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.71 EPS. Analysts predict that MKS Instruments will post 6.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Elizabeth Mora sold 375 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.90, for a total transaction of $31,462.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 15,037 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,261,604.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.24% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MKSI. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its holdings in shares of MKS Instruments by 10.6% during the 3rd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 48,050 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $3,851,000 after purchasing an additional 4,614 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in MKS Instruments by 899.3% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 34,375 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $2,755,000 after buying an additional 30,935 shares in the last quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P grew its position in MKS Instruments by 7.8% during the third quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 29,657 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $2,378,000 after buying an additional 2,145 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in MKS Instruments by 0.9% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,087,485 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $407,762,000 after buying an additional 46,856 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC increased its stake in MKS Instruments by 2,582.8% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 571,277 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $45,787,000 after acquiring an additional 549,983 shares during the period. 92.51% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

MKS Instruments Company Profile

MKS Instruments, Inc provides instruments, subsystems, and process control solutions that measure, monitor, deliver, analyze, power, and control critical parameters of manufacturing processes worldwide. It operates through two segments, Vacuum and Analysis, and Light and Motion. The Vacuum and Analysis segment offers analytical and control solutions, including gas analyzers, automation control products, I/O modules, automation software, and precision machined components and electromechanical assemblies; direct and indirect pressure measurement and integrated process solutions; and materials delivery solutions comprising flow and valve technologies, as well as integrated pressure measurement and control subsystems to provide customers with control capabilities that are optimized for a given application.

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