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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning, 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 subject of several other reports. ValuEngine cut shares of Photronics from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, July 2nd. BidaskClub raised shares of Photronics from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, April 16th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus cut shares of Photronics from a buy rating to a hold rating and cut their price target for the stock from $15.00 to $13.00 in a report on Monday, June 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Photronics has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $16.00.

Shares of NASDAQ:PLAB opened at $11.88 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $11.25 and a 200-day simple moving average of $12.02. Photronics has a one year low of $8.31 and a one year high of $16.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.04, a quick ratio of 2.71 and a current ratio of 3.08. The stock has a market capitalization of $779.57 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.29 and a beta of 0.79.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 27th. The semiconductor company reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.12 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $148.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $147.63 million. Photronics had a net margin of 5.47% and a return on equity of 3.58%. Photronics’s quarterly revenue was up 12.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.13 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts forecast that Photronics will post 0.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Photronics news, EVP Christopher J. Progler sold 12,870 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.02, for a total transaction of $141,827.40. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 119,733 shares in the company, valued at $1,319,457.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 3.82% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. US Bancorp DE raised its stake in shares of Photronics by 105.4% in the 1st quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 3,204 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $33,000 after acquiring an additional 1,644 shares during the period. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust purchased a new position in shares of Photronics in the 2nd quarter valued at $38,000. Group One Trading L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Photronics in the 1st quarter valued at $40,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Photronics by 43.7% in the 1st quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 5,833 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $60,000 after acquiring an additional 1,773 shares during the period. Finally, First Quadrant L P CA purchased a new position in shares of Photronics in the 2nd quarter valued at $92,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.28% of the company’s stock.

About Photronics

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 or glass 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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