Nanometrics (NANO) Earns “Buy” Rating from Benchmark

Benchmark reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) in a research report report published on Wednesday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has a $33.00 price objective on the semiconductor company’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $34.00.

“HAS (Buy, $108 PT) reported 4Q EPS of $2.30 vs. B. Riley FBR/consensus estimates of $1.86/ $1.81, despite a revenue decline of –2% vs. B. Riley FBR/consensus estimates of +8.9%/+5.3%. For the fourth quarter, growth in Franchise Brands was offset by Y/Y declines in Partner Brands, Hasbro Gaming and Emerging Brands. For FY17, HAS reported EPS of $5.46, ahead of B. Riley FBR/consensus estimates of $4.98/$4.93 on revenue of +4%%. We will be listening on the call this morning for more details on the impact from the Toys R” Us bankruptcy, tax reform impacts, expectations for performance of Star Wars into 2018, and initial thoughts on outlooks by segment for 2018.”,” the firm’s analyst wrote.

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on NANO. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Nanometrics from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. BidaskClub downgraded Nanometrics from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th.

Nanometrics (NANO) opened at $25.50 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $678.20, a P/E ratio of 21.79, a PEG ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.65. Nanometrics has a one year low of $22.08 and a one year high of $32.42.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The semiconductor company reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47 by $0.06. Nanometrics had a return on equity of 12.05% and a net margin of 11.68%. The business had revenue of $78.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $76.95 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.33 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 32.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Nanometrics will post 1.66 EPS for the current year.

Nanometrics declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, November 15th that permits the company to repurchase $50.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the semiconductor company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, CEO Timothy J. Stultz sold 14,166 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.93, for a total value of $367,324.38. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 294,817 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,644,604.81. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders sold a total of 14,781 shares of company stock valued at $382,656 over the last ninety days. 6.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NANO. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Nanometrics by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 113,351 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $2,867,000 after purchasing an additional 1,286 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Nanometrics by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 17,373 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $439,000 after purchasing an additional 593 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in Nanometrics by 72.5% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 320,772 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $8,112,000 after purchasing an additional 134,802 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans increased its stake in Nanometrics by 8.2% in the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 15,350 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $388,000 after purchasing an additional 1,160 shares in the last quarter. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its position in Nanometrics by 8.5% during the second quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 32,201 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $814,000 after buying an additional 2,534 shares in the last quarter. 83.05% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Nanometrics

Nanometrics Incorporated is a provider of process control metrology and inspection systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, including sensors, optoelectronic devices, high-brightness (HB) light emitting diodes (LEDs), discretes and data storages components.

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