Analyzing Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) and Axcelis Technologies (ACLS)

Axcelis Technologies (NASDAQ: ACLS) and Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, profitability, earnings, risk, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Volatility & Risk

Axcelis Technologies has a beta of 1.01, suggesting that its share price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nanometrics has a beta of 1.66, suggesting that its share price is 66% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

77.7% of Axcelis Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 83.0% of Nanometrics shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.7% of Axcelis Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.7% of Nanometrics shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Axcelis Technologies and Nanometrics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Axcelis Technologies 30.92% 18.64% 12.79%
Nanometrics 11.68% 12.05% 10.20%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Axcelis Technologies and Nanometrics’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Axcelis Technologies $410.56 million 1.84 $126.95 million $3.74 6.30
Nanometrics $258.62 million 2.57 $30.20 million $1.17 22.24

Axcelis Technologies has higher revenue and earnings than Nanometrics. Axcelis Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Nanometrics, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Axcelis Technologies and Nanometrics, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Axcelis Technologies 0 1 4 0 2.80
Nanometrics 0 0 2 0 3.00

Axcelis Technologies presently has a consensus price target of $31.80, suggesting a potential upside of 35.03%. Nanometrics has a consensus price target of $32.00, suggesting a potential upside of 22.98%. Given Axcelis Technologies’ higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Axcelis Technologies is more favorable than Nanometrics.


Axcelis Technologies beats Nanometrics on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Axcelis Technologies Company Profile

Axcelis Technologies, Inc. designs, manufactures and services ion implantation and other processing equipment used in the fabrication of semiconductor chips. The Company also provides aftermarket lifecycle products and services, including used tools, spare parts, equipment upgrades, maintenance services and customer training. The Company offers a complete line of high energy, high current and medium current implanters for all application requirements. The Company’s Purion XE high energy system combines its radio frequency (RF) Linac high energy, spot beam technology with the Purion platform. The Company also offers the Purion M medium current system. The Company’s Purion M systems also offer differentiation for specialty applications, such as hot silicon carbide. The Company’s Purion H high current system is extendable into ultra-low energy applications to satisfy future process requirements, including leakage current performance.

Nanometrics Company Profile

Nanometrics Incorporated is a provider of process control metrology and inspection systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, including sensors, optoelectronic devices, high-brightness (HB) light emitting diodes (LEDs), discretes and data storages components. The Company’s automated and integrated metrology systems measure critical dimensions, device structures, topography and various thin film properties, including three-dimensional features and film thickness, as well as optical, electrical and material properties. The Company’s process control solutions are deployed throughout the fabrication process, from front-end-of-line substrate manufacturing, to production of semiconductors and other devices, to three-dimensional wafer-level packaging applications. The Company’s automated systems primarily consist of automated metrology systems that are employed in semiconductor production environments.

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