Veeco Instruments (VECO) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Saturday.

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 also recently weighed in on the stock. Benchmark reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $23.00 target price on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. KeyCorp cut shares of Veeco Instruments to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. BidaskClub cut shares of Veeco Instruments from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC reiterated a buy rating and set a $22.00 price target on shares of Veeco Instruments in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $29.22.

Veeco Instruments (VECO) opened at $16.30 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $787.32, a PE ratio of -16.30 and a beta of 0.73. The company has a current ratio of 2.61, a quick ratio of 2.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. Veeco Instruments has a 1 year low of $10.85 and a 1 year high of $34.38.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The semiconductor company reported $0.09 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.07) by $0.16. The business had revenue of $131.87 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $134.97 million. Veeco Instruments had a negative net margin of 10.16% and a negative return on equity of 0.73%. The company’s revenue was up 54.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned ($0.05) earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Veeco Instruments will post -0.01 EPS for the current year.

Veeco Instruments declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Monday, December 11th that permits the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the semiconductor company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, SVP John P. Kiernan acquired 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $13.65 per share, with a total value of $68,250.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO John R. Peeler acquired 36,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $13.81 per share, with a total value of $499,922.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have acquired 63,700 shares of company stock valued at $877,472 in the last three months. Insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of VECO. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Veeco Instruments by 15.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,167,222 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $116,057,000 after purchasing an additional 554,206 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Veeco Instruments by 15.4% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,860,280 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $79,659,000 after buying an additional 381,884 shares in the last quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. increased its holdings in Veeco Instruments by 58.9% in the 3rd quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 927,683 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $19,853,000 after buying an additional 343,839 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its holdings in Veeco Instruments by 17.5% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,441,237 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $40,138,000 after buying an additional 214,477 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Royce & Associates LP increased its holdings in Veeco Instruments by 63.6% in the 3rd quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 492,577 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $10,541,000 after buying an additional 191,500 shares in the last quarter. 98.60% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Veeco Instruments Company Profile

Veeco Instruments Inc is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and support of thin film process equipment, primarily sold to make electronic devices. The Company’s geographical segments include the United States; China; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Rest of World (ROW). 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.

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