Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday morning.

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. “

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on PLAB. ValuEngine upgraded Photronics from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 17th. BidaskClub upgraded Photronics from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Photronics has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $11.00.

NASDAQ:PLAB opened at $10.52 on Friday. Photronics has a twelve month low of $7.20 and a twelve month high of $11.00. The firm has a market cap of $702.03 million, a PE ratio of 18.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 0.56.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, December 12th. The semiconductor company reported $0.18 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.17 by $0.01. Photronics had a return on equity of 4.38% and a net margin of 7.86%. The business had revenue of $144.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $137.20 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.08 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Photronics will post 0.47 EPS for the current year.

Photronics announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Friday, October 12th that permits the company to repurchase $25.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the semiconductor company to repurchase up to 3.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, VP Christopher J. Progler sold 9,475 shares of Photronics stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.42, for a total value of $89,254.50. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 121,900 shares in the company, valued at $1,148,298. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director George Macricostas sold 22,000 shares of Photronics stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $10.06, for a total value of $221,320.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 44,249 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $445,144.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 88,642 shares of company stock valued at $878,158 over the last 90 days. 3.73% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PLAB. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in shares of Photronics by 46.2% in 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 in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its stake in Photronics by 90.5% in the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 190,889 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $1,522,000 after purchasing an additional 90,686 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Photronics by 17.0% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 727,411 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $5,802,000 after purchasing an additional 105,779 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Photronics by 7.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,656,455 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $77,011,000 after purchasing an additional 652,680 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in Photronics by 7.1% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 138,111 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $1,091,000 after purchasing an additional 9,149 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.79% of the company’s stock.

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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