Nanometrics Inc. (NASDAQ:NANO)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $20.91 and last traded at $20.83, with a volume of 72,714 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $20.25.

NANO has been the topic of several recent research reports. Benchmark Co. boosted their price objective on shares of Nanometrics to $18.50 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 29th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Nanometrics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 6th. TheStreet raised shares of Nanometrics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 26th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $21.00 price target on shares of Nanometrics in a research note on Wednesday, June 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Nanometrics has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $20.83.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $19.31 and a 200 day moving average of $16.02. The stock has a market cap of $509.70 million and a PE ratio of 138.34.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $47.49 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $46.25 million. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.14 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Nanometrics Inc. will post $1.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Bruce C. Rhine sold 13,014 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.85, for a total value of $232,299.90. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 814,686 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,542,145.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Bruce C. Rhine sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.51, for a total value of $205,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 793,329 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,271,177.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors recently bought and sold shares of the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Nanometrics by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 828,108 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,538,000 after buying an additional 5,941 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Nanometrics by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 159,205 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,410,000 after buying an additional 7,177 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in Nanometrics by 20.6% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 582,815 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,824,000 after buying an additional 99,482 shares during the period.

Nanometrics Incorporated (Nanometrics) provides process control metrology and inspection systems used in the fabrication of integrated circuits, high-brightness LEDs (HB-LED), discrete components and data storage devices. The Company’s automated and integrated systems address numerous process control applications, including critical dimension and film thickness measurement, device topography, defect inspection, and analysis of various other film properties, such as optical, electrical and material characteristics.

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