DA Davidson lowered shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report published on Thursday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. The brokerage currently has $21.00 price objective on the semiconductor company’s stock. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Nanometrics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, July 5th. Stifel Nicolaus cut shares of Nanometrics from a buy rating to a hold rating and upped their price target for the stock from $35.00 to $40.00 in a research note on Monday, May 28th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Benchmark reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $36.00 price target (up from $33.00) on shares of Nanometrics in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. BidaskClub cut shares of Nanometrics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, June 8th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Nanometrics from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $35.50.

Shares of NASDAQ:NANO traded down $0.46 on Thursday, reaching $40.82. 6,397 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 293,935. Nanometrics has a 1-year low of $22.08 and a 1-year high of $48.26. The stock has a market cap of $1.01 billion, a PE ratio of 33.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.79.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The semiconductor company reported $0.71 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.05. Nanometrics had a net margin of 16.55% and a return on equity of 19.74%. The business had revenue of $88.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $86.53 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.30 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 37.5% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Nanometrics will post 2.3 EPS for the current year.

In related news, SVP Rollin Kocher sold 720 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.32, for a total value of $25,430.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Kevin Heidrich sold 9,356 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.00, for a total transaction of $402,308.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 81,797 shares of company stock worth $3,371,128. 6.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Millennium Management LLC grew its stake in Nanometrics by 464.1% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 634,398 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $22,464,000 after acquiring an additional 521,938 shares during the last quarter. Zacks Investment Management acquired a new stake in Nanometrics in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,293,000. Sensato Investors LLC acquired a new stake in Nanometrics in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,851,000. Paloma Partners Management Co acquired a new stake in Nanometrics in the 2nd quarter valued at about $514,000. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in Nanometrics in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,232,000. 82.75% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Nanometrics Company Profile

Nanometrics Incorporated provides process control metrology and inspection systems for use primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices worldwide. It offers automated metrology systems that provide optical critical dimension, thin film metrology, and wafer stress for transistor and interconnect metrology applications; and integrated metrology systems that are installed onto wafer processing equipment to provide near real-time measurements.

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