Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VECO) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,410,000 shares, a growth of 14.6% from the December 15th total of 1,230,000 shares. Approximately 3.0% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 254,400 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 5.5 days.

VECO stock traded up $0.62 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $15.45. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 269,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 200,689. The company has a quick ratio of 2.47, a current ratio of 3.42 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75. The company has a market capitalization of $711.05 million, a PE ratio of -386.25 and a beta of 1.37. Veeco Instruments has a 12 month low of $8.04 and a 12 month high of $17.23. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $14.30 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $12.57.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) last posted its earnings results on Monday, November 4th. The semiconductor company reported $0.05 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.01) by $0.06. The company had revenue of $108.95 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $104.37 million. Veeco Instruments had a negative net margin of 47.03% and a negative return on equity of 6.97%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 14.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.11 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts expect that Veeco Instruments will post -0.38 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Peter J. Simone sold 4,549 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.46, for a total transaction of $74,876.54. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 36,757 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $605,020.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC grew its position in Veeco Instruments by 11.2% in the second quarter. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC now owns 11,374 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $139,000 after acquiring an additional 1,144 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can grew its position in Veeco Instruments by 43.9% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 12,945 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $158,000 after acquiring an additional 3,947 shares in the last quarter. Elkfork Partners LLC grew its position in Veeco Instruments by 11.2% in the second quarter. Elkfork Partners LLC now owns 14,476 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $177,000 after acquiring an additional 1,456 shares in the last quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC grew its position in Veeco Instruments by 11.2% in the second quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 17,578 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $215,000 after acquiring an additional 1,768 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Susquehanna International Group LLP grew its position in Veeco Instruments by 75.9% in the second quarter. Susquehanna International Group LLP now owns 19,525 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $239,000 after acquiring an additional 8,425 shares in the last quarter. 85.94% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

VECO has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Northland Securities reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $19.00 price objective on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research report on Friday, November 29th. BidaskClub raised shares of Veeco Instruments from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 11th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Veeco Instruments from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, November 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Veeco Instruments from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday. Finally, Benchmark reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $18.00 price objective (up from $15.00) on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research report on Tuesday, November 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $16.75.

About Veeco Instruments

Veeco Instruments Inc, together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, sells, and supports semiconductor and thin film process equipment primarily to make electronic devices worldwide. It offers metal organic chemical vapor deposition systems; packaging lithography equipment; precision surface processing systems; laser annealing systems; ion beam deposition and etch systems; molecular beam epitaxy systems; 3D wafer inspection systems; and atomic layer deposition and other deposition systems.

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