Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) saw a large increase in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,293,394 shares, an increase of 38.6% from the August 15th total of 2,376,415 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 790,565 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.2 days. Approximately 4.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Shares of Photronics stock opened at $9.90 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $685.35 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.00, a P/E/G ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.78. Photronics has a one year low of $7.20 and a one year high of $11.00.

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

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

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

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC purchased a new position in Photronics in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $101,000. Paloma Partners Management Co purchased a new position in Photronics in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $102,000. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS purchased a new position in Photronics in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $118,000. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in Photronics in the 1st quarter worth approximately $138,000. Finally, Mackay Shields LLC purchased a new position in Photronics in the 1st quarter worth approximately $173,000. 92.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub cut Photronics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. ValuEngine raised Photronics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. Zacks Investment Research cut Photronics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 25th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on Photronics from $9.00 to $10.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 23rd. Finally, TheStreet raised Photronics from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $11.67.

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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