Photronics Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Photronics is a leading worldwide manufacturer of photomasks. Photomasks are high precision quartz plates that contain microscopic images of electronic circuits. A key element in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat panel displays, photomasks are used to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel substrates during the fabrication of integrated circuits, a variety of flat panel displays and, to a lesser extent, other types of electrical and optical components. They are produced in accordance with product designs provided by customers at strategically located manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe, and North America. “

Separately, DA Davidson reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $15.00 price objective on shares of Photronics in a report on Monday, August 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $12.80.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) opened at 10.35 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $705.73 million, a P/E ratio of 12.70 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $9.74 and a 200-day moving average price of $9.79. Photronics has a 12-month low of $8.56 and a 12-month high of $13.05.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 18th. The company reported $0.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.02. The firm earned $123.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $123.54 million. Photronics had a net margin of 11.50% and a return on equity of 6.07%. Photronics’s revenue was down 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.17 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Photronics will post $0.55 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Photronics news, Director Walter M. Fiederowicz sold 21,250 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.95, for a total transaction of $211,437.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 42,250 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $420,387.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Joseph A. Fiorita, Jr. sold 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $10.00, for a total value of $120,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 161,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,611,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.12% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Photronics by 10.5% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 661,224 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,892,000 after buying an additional 63,035 shares during the period. National Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Photronics by 11.5% in the second quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 12,044 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 1,247 shares during the period. Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Photronics during the second quarter valued at $781,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new position in Photronics during the second quarter valued at $179,000. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in Photronics by 124.5% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 423,059 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,770,000 after buying an additional 234,612 shares during the period. 98.92% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Photronics

Photronics, Inc is a manufacturer of photomasks, which are photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits. The Company supports customers across the full spectrum of integrated circuit (IC) production and flat panel display (FPD) technologies by manufacturing photomasks using electron beam or optical (laser-based) systems.

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