Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) was downgraded by investment analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

NANO has been the subject of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Nanometrics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Benchmark reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price target on shares of Nanometrics in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $31.67.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) opened at $24.26 on Wednesday. Nanometrics has a 52 week low of $23.01 and a 52 week high of $32.42. The company has a market cap of $620.93, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 1.75.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The semiconductor company reported $0.22 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.21 by $0.01. Nanometrics had a net margin of 19.23% and a return on equity of 10.26%. The business had revenue of $56.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $56.53 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.33 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Nanometrics will post 1.16 EPS for the current year.

Nanometrics declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, November 15th that permits the company to buyback $50.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the semiconductor company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 20,000 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.15, for a total transaction of $563,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 14,166 shares of Nanometrics stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.93, for a total transaction of $367,324.38. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 294,817 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,644,604.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 61,399 shares of company stock valued at $1,649,811. 6.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. GSA Capital Partners LLP bought a new stake in Nanometrics during the 3rd quarter valued at about $865,000. Allianz Asset Management GmbH lifted its holdings in Nanometrics by 70.8% during the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 66,871 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $1,926,000 after buying an additional 27,723 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Nanometrics by 4.9% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,442,355 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $41,540,000 after buying an additional 67,827 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in Nanometrics by 54.7% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 26,871 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $773,000 after buying an additional 9,498 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in Nanometrics by 161.7% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 368,507 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $10,539,000 after buying an additional 227,710 shares in the last quarter. 83.27% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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