Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “KLA’s offers a complete yield management solutions which includes hardware, software and services. The addittion of new capacity by Wafer manufacturers and adoption of more complex architectures by IC customers are driving demand for KLA’s new bare wafer products. The fiscal first-quarter earnings of the company were above the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, year to date, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to. KLA’s cost reduction initiatives and strong balance sheet remain positives that will generate growth whenever cyclical pressures permit. Though the competition and concentrated customer base increases execution risk, the increasing process control spending across foundry, memory and logic players through 2017 and beyond will enable KLA to deliver stronger results.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Argus assumed coverage on shares of KLA-Tencor in a research report on Wednesday, November 29th. They set a buy rating and a $125.00 target price for the company. Citigroup increased their target price on shares of KLA-Tencor from $106.00 to $110.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. B. Riley reissued a buy rating and set a $129.00 target price (up previously from $120.00) on shares of KLA-Tencor in a research report on Friday, October 27th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued a buy rating and set a $136.00 target price on shares of KLA-Tencor in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on shares of KLA-Tencor from $106.00 to $114.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $108.68.

Shares of KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) traded up $1.21 on Tuesday, hitting $105.63. 2,630,033 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,545,956. KLA-Tencor has a 52-week low of $77.84 and a 52-week high of $110.00. The stock has a market cap of $16,363.44, a PE ratio of 15.87, a PEG ratio of 0.67 and a beta of 1.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72, a current ratio of 3.11 and a quick ratio of 2.59.

KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The semiconductor company reported $1.80 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.17. KLA-Tencor had a net margin of 27.82% and a return on equity of 84.61%. The firm had revenue of $970.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $946.86 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.16 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 29.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that KLA-Tencor will post 7.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th were paid a dividend of $0.59 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.23%. KLA-Tencor’s payout ratio is 36.14%.

In other KLA-Tencor news, insider Bobby R. Bell sold 4,236 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.51, for a total transaction of $446,940.36. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 8,908 shares in the company, valued at approximately $939,883.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Emiko Higashi sold 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.26, for a total transaction of $50,630.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 15,229 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,542,088.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 34,400 shares of company stock worth $3,585,084 in the last 90 days. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of KLAC. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in KLA-Tencor by 24,123.6% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,308,404 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $394,262,000 after purchasing an additional 4,290,618 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of KLA-Tencor by 375.7% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,120,753 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $118,799,000 after acquiring an additional 885,147 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its stake in shares of KLA-Tencor by 46.0% in the third quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 2,444,102 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $259,075,000 after acquiring an additional 770,480 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. increased its stake in shares of KLA-Tencor by 16,899.5% in the second quarter. Koch Industries Inc. now owns 745,260 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $737,000 after acquiring an additional 740,876 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in shares of KLA-Tencor by 9,592.9% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 638,377 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $67,668,000 after acquiring an additional 631,791 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.88% of the company’s stock.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: “Zacks Investment Research Lowers KLA-Tencor (KLAC) to Hold” was originally reported by Daily Political and is the property of of Daily Political. If you are accessing this piece on another website, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of international copyright & trademark laws. The original version of this piece can be accessed at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2017/12/16/zacks-investment-research-lowers-kla-tencor-klac-to-hold.html.

KLA-Tencor Company Profile

KLA-Tencor Corporation (KLA-Tencor) is a supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nanoelectronics industries. The Company’s products are also used in a number of other high technology industries, including the light emitting diode (LED) and data storage industries, as well as general materials research.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on KLA-Tencor (KLAC)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC)

Receive News & Ratings for KLA-Tencor Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for KLA-Tencor and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.