Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Saturday.

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 also recently weighed in on VECO. Benchmark reissued a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price target on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. KeyCorp downgraded shares of Veeco Instruments to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $22.00 price objective on shares of Veeco Instruments in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Veeco Instruments from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Veeco Instruments currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $29.22.

Shares of Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ VECO) opened at $16.30 on Friday. Veeco Instruments has a 1 year low of $10.85 and a 1 year high of $34.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a quick ratio of 2.11 and a current ratio of 2.61. The firm has a market cap of $787.32, a P/E ratio of -16.30 and a beta of 0.73.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The semiconductor company reported $0.09 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.07) by $0.16. Veeco Instruments had a negative net margin of 10.16% and a negative return on equity of 0.73%. The business had revenue of $131.87 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $134.97 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned ($0.05) earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 54.3% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Veeco Instruments will post -0.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Veeco Instruments declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Monday, December 11th that allows the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the semiconductor company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, CEO John R. Peeler purchased 36,200 shares of Veeco Instruments stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was bought at an average price of $13.81 per share, with a total value of $499,922.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP John P. Kiernan purchased 5,000 shares of Veeco Instruments stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $13.65 per share, with a total value of $68,250.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders acquired 63,700 shares of company stock valued at $877,472. 2.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Shelton Capital Management acquired a new position in shares of Veeco Instruments during the third quarter valued at $478,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Veeco Instruments by 7.0% during the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,266,600 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $27,105,000 after acquiring an additional 83,135 shares during the period. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Veeco Instruments by 71.8% during the third quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 16,414 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $351,000 after acquiring an additional 6,858 shares during the period. Royce & Associates LP boosted its holdings in shares of Veeco Instruments by 63.6% during the third quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 492,577 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $10,541,000 after acquiring an additional 191,500 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in shares of Veeco Instruments by 3.2% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,953,177 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $63,198,000 after acquiring an additional 92,897 shares during the period. 98.60% of the stock is owned by 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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