Nanometrics Inc. (NASDAQ:NANO) shares hit a new 52-week high on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $21.84 and last traded at $21.34, with a volume of 33,681 shares. The stock had previously closed at $21.38.

NANO has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Benchmark Co. increased their price objective on shares of Nanometrics from $18.50 to $24.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 27th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Nanometrics from $21.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nanometrics from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $21.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, April 29th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Nanometrics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $20.83.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $19.76 and its 200-day moving average price is $16.18. The stock has a market cap of $537.02 million and a P/E ratio of 145.76.

Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.10. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.14 EPS. The company earned $47.49 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $46.25 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Nanometrics Inc. will post $1.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Nanometrics stock. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Nanometrics Inc. (NASDAQ:NANO) by 20.6% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 582,815 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 99,482 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN owned about 2.41% of Nanometrics worth $8,824,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

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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