Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) was upgraded by TheStreet from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on PLAB. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Photronics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $12.00 price target for the company in a research report on Saturday, August 25th. ValuEngine upgraded Photronics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 23rd. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on Photronics from $9.00 to $10.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Photronics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 30th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Photronics has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $11.67.

Shares of NASDAQ PLAB opened at $9.80 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $695.84 million, a PE ratio of 51.58, a P/E/G ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.78. Photronics has a fifty-two week low of $7.20 and a fifty-two week high of $11.00.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 22nd. The semiconductor company reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $136.39 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $132.67 million. Photronics had a return on equity of 3.65% and a net margin of 6.83%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 22.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.06 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Photronics will post 0.58 EPS for the current year.

Photronics declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Friday, July 6th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the semiconductor company to purchase up to 3.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, VP Christopher J. Progler sold 5,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.95, for a total transaction of $47,435.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 92,400 shares in the company, valued at $826,980. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Christopher J. Progler sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $10.60, for a total value of $31,800.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 92,900 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $984,740. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 20,210 shares of company stock valued at $187,408. 3.73% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Millennium Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Photronics by 28.2% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,324,211 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $10,561,000 after purchasing an additional 291,629 shares in the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY boosted its holdings in shares of Photronics by 38.1% in the 2nd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 26,501 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $211,000 after purchasing an additional 7,307 shares in the last quarter. Quantum Capital Management boosted its holdings in shares of Photronics by 355.0% in the 2nd quarter. Quantum Capital Management now owns 262,828 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $2,096,000 after purchasing an additional 205,059 shares in the last quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co purchased a new position in shares of Photronics in the 2nd quarter worth about $102,000. Finally, Sterling Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Photronics in the 2nd quarter worth about $279,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.44% of the company’s stock.

About Photronics

Photronics, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells photomasks in Taiwan, Korea, the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company offers photomasks, which are high precision photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits for use in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat panel displays (FPDs), as well as that are used as masters to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel display substrates during the fabrication of integrated circuits, FPDs, and other types of electrical and optical components.

Further Reading: Return on Equity (ROE)

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