Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ:NANO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Nanometrics Incorporated provides process control metrology and inspection systems for use primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices worldwide. It offers automated metrology systems that provide optical critical dimension, thin film metrology, and wafer stress for transistor and interconnect metrology applications; and integrated metrology systems that are installed onto wafer processing equipment to provide near real-time measurements. The company’s materials characterization products include systems that are used to monitor the physical, optical, electrical, and material characteristics of discrete electronic industry, opto-electronic, high brightness LEDs, solar photovoltaics, compound semiconductor, strained silicon, and silicon-on-insulator devices, including composition, crystal structure, layer thickness, dopant concentration, contamination, and electron mobility. “

NANO has been the topic of several other reports. Stifel Nicolaus raised Nanometrics from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the stock from $29.00 to $31.00 in a research report on Friday, June 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Benchmark Co. reissued a buy rating and issued a $34.00 target price on shares of Nanometrics in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub cut Nanometrics from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $31.67.

Shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ NANO) opened at 28.28 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $721.00 million, a PE ratio of 15.04 and a beta of 1.80. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $26.72 and a 200-day moving average price of $27.46. Nanometrics has a 52 week low of $18.65 and a 52 week high of $32.42.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The semiconductor company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.31 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $64.43 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $66.37 million. Nanometrics had a return on equity of 11.95% and a net margin of 19.94%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.26 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Nanometrics will post $1.20 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, General Counsel Janet Therese Taylor sold 2,505 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.65, for a total transaction of $64,253.25. Following the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 35,833 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $919,116.45. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 20,000 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.19, for a total value of $503,800.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 300,651 shares in the company, valued at $7,573,398.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 69,738 shares of company stock worth $1,813,540. Insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NANO. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its position in shares of Nanometrics by 1.9% during the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 16,780 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $511,000 after buying an additional 316 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its position in shares of Nanometrics by 10.0% during the 1st quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 36,141 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $1,099,000 after buying an additional 3,274 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of Nanometrics by 10.7% during the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 839,815 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $25,580,000 after buying an additional 81,174 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its position in shares of Nanometrics by 15.0% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,812 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 626 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank lifted its position in shares of Nanometrics by 5.7% during the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 27,779 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $886,000 after buying an additional 1,491 shares in the last quarter. 81.28% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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