Axcelis Technologies Inc. (ACLS) is looking forward to a strong quarter

Axcelis Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ACLS) stock jumped 8.07% on Friday to $78.57 against a previous-day closing price of $72.70. With 1.01 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 0.37 million shares. During the session, the Semiconductor Equipment & Materials company that operates in wider Technology sector, reached to the highest price of $79.14 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $74.55. The 52-week range on ACLS shows that it touched its highest point at $83.74 and its lowest point at $38.61 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $82.83. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.70.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of ACLS was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 14.77%, but this was up by 62.94% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 29.44% while six-month performance rose 23.58%. The stock gained 102.97% in the past year, while it has gained 5.38% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for ACLS yields 3.63 with Next year EPS estimates of 4.81. For the next quarter, that number is 1.00. This implies an EPS growth rate of 96.60% for this year and 8.73% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 20.00% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 51.90%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 33.24 million ACLS shares are outstanding with a float of 32.33 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 1.12 million, which was 3.38% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Ms. Mary G. Puma as the firm’s CEO, Pres & Director, Mr. Kevin J. Brewer serves as its Exec. VP and Principal Accounting & Financial Officer.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 86.20% of ACLS’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 50.83% of ACLS, in contrast to 34.40% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 3.31%. As the largest shareholder in ACLS with 14.35% of the stake, BlackRock Fund Advisors holds 4,737,580 shares worth 4,737,580. A second-largest stockholder of ACLS, The Vanguard Group, Inc., holds 2,657,945 shares, controlling over 8.05% of the firm’s shares. PRIMECAP Management Co. is the third largest shareholder in ACLS, holding 1,934,800 shares or 5.86% stake. With a 7.08% stake in ACLS, the iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF is the largest stakeholder. A total of 2,338,279 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The PRIMECAP Odyssey Aggressive Growt, which owns about 5.51% of ACLS stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 1,820,910 shares valued at 99.86 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index holds 2.79% of the stake in ACLS, owning 922,090 shares worth 50.57 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for ACLS since 6 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 6 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 0 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 0 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With ACLS analysts setting a high price target of $95.00 and a low target of $76.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $82.83. Based on these targets, ACLS could surge 20.91% to reach the target high and fall by -3.27% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 5.42% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. ACLS will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/08/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $5.16 being high and $4.36 being low. For ACLS, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $4.55. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Axcelis Technologies Inc. reported $1.32 EPS against a consensus estimate of $1.32. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.30. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $1.27 and the low estimate is $1.06. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $1.11.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded ACLS stock several times over the past three months with 19 Buys and 24 Sells. In these transactions, 113,898 shares were bought while 40,719 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 24 while that of sell transactions has risen to 59 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 126,231 while 207,655 shares were sold.

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