Shares of MKS Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:MKSI) were down 3.2% during trading on Friday . The company traded as low as $45.29 and last traded at $45.63, with a volume of 734,766 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $47.16.

A number of analysts have commented on MKSI shares. Dougherty & Co boosted their price target on shares of MKS Instruments from $42.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, May 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on shares of MKS Instruments from $43.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 12th. Pacific Crest reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of MKS Instruments in a research note on Friday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of MKS Instruments from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th.

The firm has a 50-day moving average of $43.65 and a 200-day moving average of $37.85. The stock has a market cap of $2.44 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.07.

MKS Instruments (NASDAQ:MKSI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.24. The firm earned $325.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $288.62 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.62 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 49.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that MKS Instruments Inc. will post $2.65 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 9th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 29th will be issued a $0.17 dividend. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.49%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 25th.

In related news, VP Brian Charles Quirk sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.25, for a total transaction of $36,250.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 13,210 shares in the company, valued at approximately $478,862.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Peter Hanley sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.29, for a total transaction of $82,580.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 4,492 shares in the company, valued at approximately $185,474.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently modified their holdings of MKSI. US Bancorp DE increased its position in shares of MKS Instruments by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 33,253 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,197,000 after buying an additional 705 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of MKS Instruments by 152.4% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 38,833 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,398,000 after buying an additional 23,449 shares during the period. State of Tennessee Treasury Department bought a new position in shares of MKS Instruments during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,490,000. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in shares of MKS Instruments by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 91,618 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,298,000 after buying an additional 3,035 shares during the period. Finally, Mutual of America Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of MKS Instruments by 14.0% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 93,237 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,357,000 after buying an additional 11,416 shares during the period.

MKS Instruments, Inc (MKS) is a provider of instruments, subsystems and process control solutions that measures, controls, powers, monitors and analyzes critical parameters of advanced manufacturing processes to improve process performance and productivity. The Company operates through segments, including Advanced Manufacturing Capital Equipment, which includes the development, manufacturing and sales of instruments, control and vacuum products, power and reactive gas products; Global Service, which includes the worldwide servicing of instruments, control and vacuum products, power and reactive gas products and certain other product groups; Asia Region Sales, which includes sales of products that are re-sold from the Advanced Manufacturing Capital Equipment and Other segments into Asia regions, and Other.

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