Photronics (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 report sent to investors on Tuesday 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. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on PLAB. TheStreet upgraded shares of Photronics from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Photronics from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 17th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Photronics from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Photronics presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $11.00.



Shares of NASDAQ:PLAB traded up $0.17 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $10.55. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 31,529 shares, compared to its average volume of 838,469. The company has a market cap of $696.67 million, a P/E ratio of 18.26, a P/E/G ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.56. Photronics has a 12-month low of $7.20 and a 12-month high of $11.00.

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

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

In other news, VP Christopher J. Progler sold 9,475 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.42, for a total transaction of $89,254.50. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 121,900 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,148,298. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director George Macricostas sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.60, for a total transaction of $28,800.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 55,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $528,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 69,389 shares of company stock valued at $676,419 in the last quarter. 3.73% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of PLAB. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS purchased a new stake in shares of Photronics during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $118,000. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its position in Photronics by 46.2% in the 2nd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 24,430 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $195,000 after purchasing an additional 7,720 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in Photronics by 90.5% in the 2nd 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. raised its position in Photronics by 17.0% in the 2nd 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. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Photronics by 7.2% in the 2nd 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. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.57% 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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