Shares of Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ:NANO) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the five research firms that are covering the company, MarketBeat Ratings reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and four have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year target price among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $31.67.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on NANO shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Nanometrics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Benchmark Co. restated a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price objective (up from $30.00) on shares of Nanometrics in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Nanometrics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $29.00 to $31.00 in a research report on Friday, June 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Nanometrics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd.

Shares of Nanometrics (NANO) opened at 25.13 on Friday. Nanometrics has a 52-week low of $18.65 and a 52-week high of $32.42. The company’s 50-day moving average is $26.19 and its 200 day moving average is $27.59. The firm has a market capitalization of $640.69 million, a PE ratio of 13.37 and a beta of 1.73.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The semiconductor company reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.01. Nanometrics had a return on equity of 11.95% and a net margin of 19.94%. The business had revenue of $64.43 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $66.37 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.26 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 15.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Nanometrics will post $1.20 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.93, for a total transaction of $538,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 300,651 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,096,531.43. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Bruce C. Rhine sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.47, for a total value of $294,700.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 736,561 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $21,706,452.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 74,221 shares of company stock valued at $1,975,613 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of NANO. Oxford Asset Management increased its stake in Nanometrics by 8.6% in the first quarter. Oxford Asset Management now owns 114,723 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $3,494,000 after buying an additional 9,055 shares during the period. Creative Planning purchased a new stake in Nanometrics during the first quarter worth $276,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Nanometrics by 13.2% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,213,933 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $36,976,000 after buying an additional 142,005 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Nanometrics by 10.7% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 839,815 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $25,580,000 after buying an additional 81,174 shares during the period. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in Nanometrics by 15.0% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,812 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 626 shares during the period. 78.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Nanometrics

Nanometrics Incorporated is a provider of process control metrology and inspection systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, including sensors, optoelectronic devices, high-brightness (HB) light emitting diodes (LEDs), discretes and data storages components.

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