Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB)’s share price shot up 5.8% during trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $10.45 and last traded at $10.40. 2,021,606 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 102% from the average session volume of 998,834 shares. The stock had previously closed at $9.83.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Photronics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 17th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Photronics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, December 15th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Photronics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Photronics currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $11.00.

The firm has a market capitalization of $696.67 million, a PE ratio of 17.90, a PEG ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.56.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, December 12th. The semiconductor company reported $0.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.17 by $0.01. Photronics had a net margin of 7.86% and a return on equity of 4.38%. The firm had revenue of $144.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $137.20 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.08 earnings per share. Photronics’s revenue was up 19.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Photronics, Inc. will post 0.47 EPS for the current year.

Photronics announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Friday, October 12th that permits the company to repurchase $25.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the semiconductor company to reacquire up to 3.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Photronics news, Director George Macricostas sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.60, for a total value of $28,800.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 55,000 shares in the company, valued at $528,000. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Christopher J. Progler sold 9,475 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.42, for a total transaction of $89,254.50. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 121,900 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,148,298. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 69,389 shares of company stock worth $676,419 in the last 90 days. 3.73% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Verition Fund Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Photronics during the third quarter valued at approximately $113,000. Paloma Partners Management Co acquired a new position in shares of Photronics during the second quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Photronics during the third quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp acquired a new position in shares of Photronics during the third quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC increased its stake in shares of Photronics by 46.2% during the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 24,430 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $195,000 after acquiring an additional 7,720 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.57% of the company’s stock.

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Photronics Company Profile (NASDAQ:PLAB)

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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