Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Photronics is a leading worldwide manufacturer of photomasks. Photomasks are high precision quartz plates that contain microscopic images of electronic circuits. A key element in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat panel displays, photomasks are used to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel substrates during the fabrication of integrated circuits, a variety of flat panel displays and, to a lesser extent, other types of electrical and optical components. They are produced in accordance with product designs provided by customers at strategically located manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe, and North America. “

Separately, BidaskClub cut shares of Photronics from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold”.

Shares of Photronics (PLAB) opened at 9.50 on Tuesday. Photronics has a 12 month low of $7.55 and a 12 month high of $12.10. The firm has a market cap of $654.91 million, a PE ratio of 50.26 and a beta of 0.58. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $8.34 and a 200 day moving average price of $9.70.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 14th. The semiconductor company reported $0.06 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by ($0.03). Photronics had a net margin of 2.97% and a return on equity of 1.33%. The firm had revenue of $111.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $115.14 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.12 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Photronics will post $0.22 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider Sean T. Smith sold 18,750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.19, for a total value of $172,312.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Christopher J. Progler sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.85, for a total transaction of $35,400.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 26,750 shares of company stock valued at $247,913. Company insiders own 3.71% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PLAB. Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in Photronics by 3.4% in the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 112,400 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $1,203,000 after purchasing an additional 3,700 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake in Photronics by 2.6% in the 1st quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 502,429 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $5,376,000 after purchasing an additional 12,569 shares during the period. American International Group Inc. boosted its stake in Photronics by 7.1% in the 1st quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 40,191 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $430,000 after purchasing an additional 2,648 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Photronics by 4.3% in the 1st quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 110,731 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $1,185,000 after purchasing an additional 4,578 shares during the period. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its stake in Photronics by 5.3% in the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 41,820 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $448,000 after purchasing an additional 2,104 shares during the period. 95.98% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Photronics Company Profile

Photronics, Inc is a manufacturer of photomasks, which are photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits. As of October 30, 2016, the Company operated principally from nine manufacturing facilities: two located in Europe, three in Taiwan, one in Korea and three in the United States.

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