Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Veeco Instruments Inc. is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and support of thin film process equipment, primarily sold to make electronic devices. Veeco’s process equipment solutions enable the manufacture of LEDs, power electronics, hard drives, MEMS and wireless chips. They are the market leader in MOCVD, MBE, Ion Beam and other advanced thin film process technologies. The Company’s portfolio of technology solutions focus on market areas, including Lighting, Display & Power Electronics; Advanced Packaging, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) & radio frequency (RF); Scientific & Industrial, and Data Storage. The Company’s System products include Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition Systems, Precision Surface Processing Systems, Ion Beam Etch and Deposition Systems, Molecular Beam Epitaxy Systems, and Other Deposition and Industrial Products. The Company’s original name Veeco stood for Vacuum Electronic Equipment Company. “

A number of other analysts have also issued reports on the company. BidaskClub lowered Veeco Instruments from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Benchmark reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $23.00 price target on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $22.00 price target on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, KeyCorp downgraded shares of Veeco Instruments to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $28.67.

Shares of Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ VECO) opened at $15.10 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $729.36, a price-to-earnings ratio of -15.10 and a beta of 0.78. Veeco Instruments has a 1-year low of $10.85 and a 1-year high of $34.38. The company has a quick ratio of 2.11, a current ratio of 2.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) last released its earnings results on Monday, February 12th. The semiconductor company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $143.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $143.85 million. Veeco Instruments had a negative return on equity of 0.73% and a negative net margin of 10.16%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 53.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.09 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Veeco Instruments will post -0.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Veeco Instruments declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Monday, December 11th that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the semiconductor company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Veeco Instruments news, CEO John R. Peeler bought 36,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $13.81 per share, with a total value of $499,922.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Shubham Maheshwari bought 7,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $13.74 per share, for a total transaction of $103,050.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought 63,700 shares of company stock worth $877,472 over the last ninety days. 2.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of VECO. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. increased its position in Veeco Instruments by 32.9% during the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 4,143 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 1,026 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp acquired a new position in Veeco Instruments during the second quarter worth $202,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new position in Veeco Instruments during the fourth quarter worth $205,000. Aperio Group LLC acquired a new position in Veeco Instruments during the third quarter worth $218,000. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Veeco Instruments during the fourth quarter worth $229,000. 99.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Veeco Instruments Company Profile

Veeco Instruments Inc is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and support of thin film process equipment, primarily sold to make electronic devices. The Company’s geographical segments include the United States; China; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Rest of World (ROW). The Company’s portfolio of technology solutions focus on market areas, including Lighting, Display & Power Electronics; Advanced Packaging, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) & radio frequency (RF); Scientific & Industrial, and Data Storage.

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