Brooks Automation Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKS) shares reached a new 52-week high on Thursday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The company traded as high as $14.53 and last traded at $14.46, with a volume of 192258 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $13.93.

The company reported $0.22 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $157.55 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $145.77 million. Brooks Automation had a positive return on equity of 4.92% and a negative net margin of 13.39%. Brooks Automation’s quarterly revenue was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.17 EPS.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 2nd will be issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.82%. Brooks Automation’s dividend payout ratio is presently -37.38%.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on BRKS shares. Needham & Company LLC lifted their price target on Brooks Automation from $13.00 to $15.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. B. Riley reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $16.00 price target on shares of Brooks Automation in a report on Friday, July 29th. Citigroup Inc. upgraded Brooks Automation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $12.50 to $16.50 in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. Janney Montgomery Scott started coverage on Brooks Automation in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $20.00 price target on the stock. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Brooks Automation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Brooks Automation presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $15.05.

In other news, insider David C. Gray sold 6,441 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $12.74, for a total value of $82,058.34. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 138,834 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,768,745.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 2.15% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Wellington Management Group LLP purchased a new stake in shares of Brooks Automation during the first quarter worth approximately $13,905,000. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Brooks Automation during the second quarter worth approximately $8,793,000. Boston Partners boosted its stake in shares of Brooks Automation by 58.8% in the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 1,715,535 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,248,000 after buying an additional 634,989 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Brooks Automation by 8.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,825,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $65,677,000 after buying an additional 385,131 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Brooks Automation by 5.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,496,910 shares of the company’s stock worth $61,675,000 after buying an additional 269,175 shares in the last quarter. 92.02% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The company has a 50 day moving average price of $13.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $12.05. The stock’s market capitalization is $937.58 million.

About Brooks Automation

Brooks Automation, Inc is a global provider of automation, vacuum and instrumentation solutions for multiple markets, including semiconductor manufacturing, technology device manufacturing and life sciences. The Company operates in three segments: Brooks Product Solutions, Brooks Global Services and Brooks Life Science Systems.

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