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

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. “

PLAB has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Stifel Nicolaus cut Photronics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 11th. Needham & Company LLC cut Photronics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 11th. DA Davidson restated a “buy” rating and set a $15.00 target price on shares of Photronics in a report on Monday, August 22nd. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. set a $12.00 target price on Photronics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 4th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Photronics has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $13.00.

Shares of Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) opened at 10.65 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $726.18 million, a PE ratio of 13.07 and a beta of 0.58. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $10.15 and its 200-day moving average price is $9.73. Photronics has a 12 month low of $8.20 and a 12 month high of $13.05.

In other news, Director Walter M. Fiederowicz sold 21,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.95, for a total transaction of $211,437.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 42,250 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $420,387.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Joseph A. Fiorita, Jr. sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $10.00, for a total value of $120,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 161,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,611,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 4.12% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Photronics by 7.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 1,820,575 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,770,000 after buying an additional 131,900 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Photronics by 0.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,697,653 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,673,000 after buying an additional 6,230 shares in the last quarter. Lombardia Capital Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Photronics by 22.0% in the third quarter. Lombardia Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,351,027 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,929,000 after buying an additional 243,789 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management raised its stake in shares of Photronics by 7.6% in the third quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 1,287,857 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,277,000 after buying an additional 90,686 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in shares of Photronics by 2.2% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,062,972 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,959,000 after buying an additional 23,354 shares in the last quarter. 97.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Photronics

Photronics, Inc is a manufacturer of photomasks, which are photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits. The Company supports customers across the full spectrum of integrated circuit (IC) production and flat panel display (FPD) technologies by manufacturing photomasks using electron beam or optical (laser-based) systems.

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