Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Veeco Instruments Inc. is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and support of thin film process equipment, primarily sold to make electronic devices. Veeco’s process equipment solutions enable the manufacture of LEDs, power electronics, hard drives, MEMS and wireless chips. They are the market leader in MOCVD, MBE, Ion Beam and other advanced thin film process technologies. 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. The Company’s System products include Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition Systems, Precision Surface Processing Systems, Ion Beam Etch and Deposition Systems, Molecular Beam Epitaxy Systems, and Other Deposition and Industrial Products. The Company’s original name Veeco stood for Vacuum Electronic Equipment Company. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on VECO. BidaskClub lowered Veeco Instruments from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. ValuEngine upgraded Veeco Instruments from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Benchmark reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $15.00 target price on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research report on Thursday, May 16th. Finally, Northland Securities reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $14.00 target price on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. Veeco Instruments currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $14.25.

Shares of VECO traded down $0.50 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $10.81. 6,327 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 336,582. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $11.84. The company has a market capitalization of $558.26 million, a P/E ratio of -270.50 and a beta of 1.24. Veeco Instruments has a 1-year low of $6.27 and a 1-year high of $15.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 3.29 and a quick ratio of 2.36.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) last issued its earnings results on Monday, August 5th. The semiconductor company reported ($0.16) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.14) by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $97.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $101.43 million. Veeco Instruments had a negative net margin of 44.39% and a negative return on equity of 5.61%. Veeco Instruments’s quarterly revenue was down 38.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.15 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Veeco Instruments will post -0.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Invesco Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Veeco Instruments by 720.1% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 4,759,206 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $58,157,000 after acquiring an additional 4,178,877 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Veeco Instruments by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,915,200 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $60,064,000 after acquiring an additional 58,146 shares during the last quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Veeco Instruments in the 2nd quarter worth $315,000. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Veeco Instruments by 2.6% in the 2nd quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. now owns 333,047 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $4,070,000 after acquiring an additional 8,365 shares during the last quarter. Finally, HighTower Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Veeco Instruments in the 2nd quarter worth $975,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.54% of the company’s stock.

Veeco Instruments Company Profile

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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