Photronics (PLAB) Trading 5.8% Higher

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Shares of Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) traded up 5.8% during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $10.45 and last traded at $10.40. 2,021,606 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 102% from the average session volume of 998,834 shares. The stock had previously closed at $9.83.

PLAB has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Photronics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. ValuEngine raised Photronics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, December 15th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Photronics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $11.00.

The stock has a market cap 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 quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, December 12th. The semiconductor company reported $0.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $144.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $137.20 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.08 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Photronics, Inc. will post 0.47 earnings per share for the current year.

Photronics declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Friday, October 12th that allows the company to buyback $25.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the semiconductor company to reacquire up to 3.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, CEO Peter S. Kirlin sold 11,024 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.46, for a total value of $104,287.04. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 205,352 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,942,629.92. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director George Macricostas sold 22,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 directly owns 44,249 shares in the company, valued at approximately $445,144.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 69,389 shares of company stock worth $676,419 in the last quarter. 3.73% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Photronics by 3.1% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,955,523 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $98,062,000 after purchasing an additional 299,068 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of Photronics by 0.4% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,876,889 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $57,887,000 after purchasing an additional 25,519 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Photronics by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,365,171 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $42,996,000 after purchasing an additional 41,815 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its stake in shares of Photronics by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 4,365,171 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $42,996,000 after purchasing an additional 41,815 shares during the period. Finally, Donald Smith & CO. Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Photronics by 1.5% during the 3rd quarter. Donald Smith & CO. Inc. now owns 4,273,216 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock worth $42,091,000 after purchasing an additional 64,625 shares during the period. 97.57% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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