MKS Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ:MKSI) shares were up 5.4% on Thursday . The company traded as high as $93.72 and last traded at $92.57. Approximately 1,071,167 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 67% from the average daily volume of 642,509 shares. The stock had previously closed at $87.85.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on MKSI shares. ValuEngine raised shares of MKS Instruments from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 2nd. Cowen reissued a “buy” rating on shares of MKS Instruments in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Benchmark reissued a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 target price on shares of MKS Instruments in a research report on Thursday, January 31st. BidaskClub lowered shares of MKS Instruments from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 20th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of MKS Instruments from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, January 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $114.00.

The stock has a market capitalization of $5.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 1.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18, a quick ratio of 4.10 and a current ratio of 5.56.

MKS Instruments (NASDAQ:MKSI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 29th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $1.54 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.51 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $460.54 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $440.68 million. MKS Instruments had a net margin of 18.93% and a return on equity of 23.96%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.71 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that MKS Instruments, Inc. will post 6.59 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 25th were given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.88%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 22nd. MKS Instruments’s dividend payout ratio is currently 10.22%.

In other news, Director Elizabeth Mora sold 375 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.90, for a total transaction of $31,462.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 15,037 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,261,604.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 1.67% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of MKS Instruments by 6.5% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 584,620 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $37,772,000 after buying an additional 35,731 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of MKS Instruments during the fourth quarter valued at about $40,741,000. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of MKS Instruments by 17.3% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 670,065 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $43,293,000 after buying an additional 98,788 shares during the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank raised its position in shares of MKS Instruments by 57.9% during the fourth quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 12,597 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $814,000 after buying an additional 4,617 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in MKS Instruments by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 65,671 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $4,243,000 after purchasing an additional 2,180 shares in the last quarter. 91.40% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About MKS Instruments (NASDAQ:MKSI)

MKS Instruments, Inc provides instruments, subsystems, and process control solutions that measure, control, power, deliver, monitor, and analyze critical parameters of manufacturing processes worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Vacuum & Analysis and Light & Motion. The Vacuum & Analysis segment provides analytical and control solutions products, including gas analyzers, automation control products, I/O modules, automation software, and precision machined components and electromechanical assemblies; and materials delivery solutions products comprising flow and valve technologies, as well as integrated pressure measurement and control subsystems to provide customers with precise control capabilities that are optimized for a given application.

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