Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VECO) saw unusually-high trading volume on Tuesday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. Approximately 3,576,956 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 391% from the previous session’s volume of 728,929 shares.The stock last traded at $17.20 and had previously closed at $15.10.

The semiconductor company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by $0.10. Veeco Instruments had a negative net margin of 10.16% and a negative return on equity of 0.73%. The company had revenue of $143.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $143.85 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.09 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 53.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

Veeco Instruments announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Monday, December 11th that permits the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the semiconductor company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

VECO has been the topic of several analyst reports. Benchmark reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price target on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. KeyCorp lowered shares of Veeco Instruments to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Veeco Instruments from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, January 6th. Needham & Company LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 price objective on shares of Veeco Instruments in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Veeco Instruments from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.67.

In other Veeco Instruments news, SVP John P. Kiernan purchased 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $13.65 per share, for a total transaction of $68,250.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO John R. Peeler purchased 36,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $13.81 per share, for a total transaction of $499,922.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have bought 63,700 shares of company stock worth $877,472. Insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its holdings in Veeco Instruments by 32.9% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 4,143 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 1,026 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp purchased a new position in Veeco Instruments in the second quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in Veeco Instruments in the second quarter valued at approximately $266,000. Aperio Group LLC purchased a new position in Veeco Instruments in the third quarter valued at approximately $218,000. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Veeco Instruments in the second quarter valued at approximately $289,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.98% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a quick ratio of 2.11 and a current ratio of 2.61. The stock has a market cap of $830.79, a price-to-earnings ratio of -17.20 and a beta of 0.78.

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Veeco Instruments Company Profile

Veeco Instruments Inc is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and support of thin film process equipment, primarily sold to make electronic devices. The Company’s geographical segments include the United States; China; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Rest of World (ROW). The Company’s portfolio of technology solutions focus on market areas, including Lighting, Display & Power Electronics; Advanced Packaging, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) & radio frequency (RF); Scientific & Industrial, and Data Storage.

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