Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Photronics Inc. (PLAB) to Hold

Photronics Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

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. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on PLAB. DA Davidson restated a “buy” rating and set a $15.00 target price on shares of Photronics in a report on Monday, August 22nd. SunTrust Banks Inc. set a $12.00 target price on shares of Photronics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 4th.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) opened at 10.00 on Wednesday. Photronics has a 52 week low of $8.56 and a 52 week high of $13.05. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $10.15 and a 200-day moving average of $9.83. The firm has a market cap of $681.86 million, a PE ratio of 12.27 and a beta of 0.85.

Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 18th. The company reported $0.12 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $123.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $123.54 million. Photronics had a return on equity of 6.07% and a net margin of 11.50%. Photronics’s quarterly revenue was down 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.17 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Photronics will post $0.55 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Photronics news, Director Walter M. Fiederowicz sold 21,250 shares of Photronics stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.95, for a total transaction of $211,437.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 42,250 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $420,387.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Joseph A. Fiorita, Jr. sold 12,000 shares of Photronics stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $10.00, for a total transaction of $120,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 161,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,611,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 4.12% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in Photronics by 0.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,697,653 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,673,000 after buying an additional 6,230 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management boosted its position in Photronics by 22.6% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 1,197,171 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,666,000 after buying an additional 220,713 shares during the period. Lombardia Capital Partners LLC boosted its position in Photronics by 413.4% in the second quarter. Lombardia Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,107,238 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,865,000 after buying an additional 891,580 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in Photronics by 3.4% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 745,188 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,639,000 after buying an additional 24,815 shares during the period. Finally, Mackenzie Financial Corp boosted its position in Photronics by 17.4% in the second quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 676,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,026,000 after buying an additional 100,000 shares during the period. 99.24% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Photronics

Photronics, Inc is a manufacturer of photomasks, which are photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits. The Company supports customers across the full spectrum of integrated circuit (IC) production and flat panel display (FPD) technologies by manufacturing photomasks using electron beam or optical (laser-based) systems.

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