ValuEngine lowered shares of Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday.

Several other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Photronics from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $12.00 target price for the company in a research report on Saturday, August 25th. BidaskClub cut Photronics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 15th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on Photronics from $9.00 to $10.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 23rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $11.67.

PLAB opened at $9.90 on Tuesday. Photronics has a 1-year low of $7.20 and a 1-year high of $11.00. The company has a market capitalization of $685.35 million, a PE ratio of 51.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.78.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 22nd. The semiconductor company reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.02. Photronics had a return on equity of 3.65% and a net margin of 6.83%. The company had revenue of $136.39 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $132.67 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.06 earnings per share. Photronics’s revenue for the quarter was up 22.2% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Photronics will post 0.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Photronics declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Friday, July 6th that permits the company to repurchase $20.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the semiconductor company to purchase up to 3.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Mitchell G. Tyson sold 4,790 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.17, for a total value of $43,924.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 77,879 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $714,150.43. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Christopher J. Progler sold 5,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.95, for a total value of $47,435.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 92,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $826,980. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 20,210 shares of company stock valued at $187,408. 3.73% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Millennium Management LLC lifted its position in Photronics by 28.2% in the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,324,211 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $10,561,000 after purchasing an additional 291,629 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY lifted its holdings in shares of Photronics by 38.1% during the second quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 26,501 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $211,000 after acquiring an additional 7,307 shares during the period. Quantum Capital Management lifted its holdings in shares of Photronics by 355.0% during the second quarter. Quantum Capital Management now owns 262,828 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $2,096,000 after acquiring an additional 205,059 shares during the period. Paloma Partners Management Co bought a new position in shares of Photronics during the second quarter valued at $102,000. Finally, Sterling Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Photronics during the second quarter valued at $279,000. 92.44% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Photronics Company Profile

Photronics, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells photomasks in Taiwan, Korea, the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company offers photomasks, which are high precision photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits for use in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat panel displays (FPDs), as well as that are used as masters to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel display substrates during the fabrication of integrated circuits, FPDs, and other types of electrical and optical components.

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