Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ:NANO) has earned an average rating of “Buy” from the five brokerages that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and four have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $31.67.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on NANO shares. Benchmark Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 target price (up previously from $30.00) on shares of Nanometrics in a research note on Wednesday, May 3rd. 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 note on Friday, June 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research raised Nanometrics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, May 5th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Nanometrics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd.

In other Nanometrics news, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.19, for a total value of $503,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 300,651 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,573,398.69. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, General Counsel Janet Therese Taylor sold 2,505 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.65, for a total value of $64,253.25. Following the completion of the sale, the general counsel now directly owns 35,833 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $919,116.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 74,545 shares of company stock valued at $1,978,863 in the last ninety days. 6.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Nanometrics by 643.3% in the first quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 5,783 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $176,000 after buying an additional 5,005 shares during the period. Comerica Bank boosted its stake in shares of Nanometrics by 5.7% in the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 27,779 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $886,000 after buying an additional 1,491 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in shares of Nanometrics by 15.0% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,812 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 626 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Nanometrics by 10.7% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 839,815 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $25,580,000 after buying an additional 81,174 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Nanometrics by 67.1% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 158,584 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $4,830,000 after buying an additional 63,654 shares during the period. 81.32% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ NANO) traded up 1.39% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $26.22. 191,984 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $26.19 and a 200-day moving average price of $27.59. Nanometrics has a 52 week low of $18.65 and a 52 week high of $32.42. The stock has a market cap of $668.48 million, a P/E ratio of 13.95 and a beta of 1.73.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The semiconductor company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.01. Nanometrics had a return on equity of 11.95% and a net margin of 19.94%. The company had revenue of $64.43 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $66.37 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.26 earnings per share. Nanometrics’s revenue was up 15.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Nanometrics will post $1.20 earnings per share for the current year.

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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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