Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLABGet Rating) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

PLAB has been the topic of a number of other reports. StockNews.com initiated coverage on shares of Photronics in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “strong-buy” rating on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Photronics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $19.00 to $21.00 in a research report on Monday, April 11th.

Photronics stock opened at $15.10 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08, a current ratio of 3.13 and a quick ratio of 2.80. Photronics has a 1-year low of $11.65 and a 1-year high of $20.30. The firm has a market capitalization of $932.11 million, a P/E ratio of 13.02 and a beta of 0.95. The company’s 50-day moving average is $16.97 and its 200 day moving average is $16.38.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLABGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 23rd. The semiconductor company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.07. Photronics had a net margin of 10.05% and a return on equity of 6.66%. The company had revenue of $189.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $183.10 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.13 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.8% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts anticipate that Photronics will post 1.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Mitchell G. Tyson sold 2,000 shares of Photronics stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.00, for a total transaction of $34,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 74,379 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,264,443. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Christopher J. Progler sold 11,481 shares of Photronics stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.54, for a total transaction of $189,895.74. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 159,593 shares in the company, valued at $2,639,668.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 39,300 shares of company stock worth $689,314. Corporate insiders own 3.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Millennium Management LLC boosted its stake in Photronics by 132.4% in the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,229,651 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $23,179,000 after acquiring an additional 700,498 shares in the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Photronics in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $11,905,000. Meros Investment Management LP acquired a new stake in Photronics in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $9,192,000. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership boosted its stake in Photronics by 112.6% in the third quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 735,843 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $10,030,000 after acquiring an additional 389,693 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Photronics in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $5,156,000. 90.37% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Photronics Company Profile (Get Rating)

Photronics, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of photomask products and services in the United States, Taiwan, Korea, Europe, China, and internationally. The company offers photomasks that are used in the manufacture of integrated circuits and flat panel displays (FPDs); and to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers, FDP substrates, and other types of electrical and optical components.

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