MKS Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ:MKSI) was the recipient of a significant decrease in short interest during the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 573,000 shares, a decrease of 21.5% from the March 31st total of 730,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 489,200 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.2 days.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Needham & Company LLC increased their target price on shares of MKS Instruments from $175.00 to $205.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of MKS Instruments from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $195.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday. Citigroup lowered their price target on shares of MKS Instruments from $200.00 to $180.00 in a report on Friday, January 29th. KeyCorp lifted their target price on shares of MKS Instruments from $175.00 to $207.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, January 29th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their target price on shares of MKS Instruments from $170.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. MKS Instruments presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $198.18.

Shares of MKSI stock traded down $1.49 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $176.49. The stock had a trading volume of 334,799 shares, compared to its average volume of 461,296. MKS Instruments has a 12-month low of $90.62 and a 12-month high of $199.44. The company has a market cap of $9.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.53 and a beta of 1.60. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $183.54 and a 200 day simple moving average of $157.79. The company has a current ratio of 4.58, a quick ratio of 3.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37.

MKS Instruments (NASDAQ:MKSI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Sunday, April 25th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $2.56 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.20 by $0.36. MKS Instruments had a return on equity of 16.49% and a net margin of 12.78%. The business had revenue of $694.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $652.80 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.54 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 29.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts anticipate that MKS Instruments will post 7.09 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 5th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 22nd were given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.45%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 19th. MKS Instruments’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 17.70%.

In related news, SVP Eric Robert Taranto sold 1,788 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $185.29, for a total transaction of $331,298.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 3,506 shares in the company, valued at $649,626.74. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Seth H. Bagshaw sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $186.86, for a total transaction of $1,681,740.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 27,010 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,047,088.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its position in MKS Instruments by 19.3% during the fourth quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 28,175 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $4,239,000 after buying an additional 4,563 shares during the period. MESIROW FINANCIAL INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Equity & Fixed Income boosted its stake in MKS Instruments by 30.7% during the 4th quarter. MESIROW FINANCIAL INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Equity & Fixed Income now owns 15,195 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $2,286,000 after purchasing an additional 3,565 shares during the period. Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd. raised its holdings in MKS Instruments by 2.0% in the 4th quarter. Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd. now owns 61,279 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $11,739,000 after acquiring an additional 1,195 shares in the last quarter. Barclays PLC raised its holdings in MKS Instruments by 1,914.7% in the 4th quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 37,050 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $5,574,000 after acquiring an additional 35,211 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stanley Laman Group Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of MKS Instruments by 9.4% in the 4th quarter. Stanley Laman Group Ltd. now owns 8,958 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $1,348,000 after buying an additional 771 shares in the last quarter. 94.02% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

MKS Instruments Company Profile

MKS Instruments, Inc provides instruments, systems, subsystems, and process control solutions that measure, monitor, deliver, analyze, power, and control critical parameters of manufacturing processes worldwide. Its Vacuum & Analysis segment offers pressure and vacuum control solutions, including direct and indirect pressure measurement; materials delivery solutions comprising flow and valve technologies, as well as integrated pressure measurement and control subsystems, which provide customers with precise control capabilities; power delivery products, such as microwave, power delivery systems, radio frequency matching networks, and metrology products used in providing energy to etching, stripping, and deposition processes; and plasma and reactive gas products.

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