Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ:NANO) by 3.5% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 202,977 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock after buying an additional 6,788 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned approximately 0.80% of Nanometrics worth $5,133,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. IndexIQ Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Nanometrics during the second quarter worth approximately $393,000. OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp purchased a new position in Nanometrics in the second quarter worth approximately $266,000. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its stake in Nanometrics by 3.7% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 164,416 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $4,158,000 after acquiring an additional 5,832 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Nanometrics by 5.9% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 50,603 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $1,280,000 after acquiring an additional 2,833 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL purchased a new position in Nanometrics in the second quarter worth approximately $217,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.28% of the company’s stock.

In related news, CFO Jeff Andreson sold 7,233 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.11, for a total transaction of $196,086.63. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.19, for a total transaction of $503,800.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 300,651 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,573,398.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 69,738 shares of company stock worth $1,813,540 in the last quarter. Insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ NANO) opened at 29.14 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $742.92 million, a PE ratio of 15.50 and a beta of 1.80. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $26.39 and its 200 day moving average price is $27.45. Nanometrics Incorporated has a 52-week low of $18.65 and a 52-week high of $32.42.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The semiconductor company reported $0.30 earnings per share 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 company had revenue of $64.43 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $66.37 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.26 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 15.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Nanometrics Incorporated will post $1.20 earnings per share for the current year.

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NANO has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nanometrics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Nanometrics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Benchmark Co. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 price objective on shares of Nanometrics in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of Nanometrics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $29.00 to $31.00 in a report on Friday, June 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $31.50.

Nanometrics Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO)

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