Vetr upgraded shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has $66.16 price objective on the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock.
A number of other research firms have also weighed in on AMAT. UBS raised Applied Materials from a neutral rating to a positive rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Zacks Investment Research raised Applied Materials from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $60.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, February 19th. Needham & Company LLC raised Applied Materials from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and increased their price objective for the company from $66.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Susquehanna Bancshares raised Applied Materials from a neutral rating to a positive rating and increased their price objective for the company from $60.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Applied Materials from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Twenty-five analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $64.25.
Shares of Applied Materials stock opened at $58.50 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $62,452.84, a P/E ratio of 22.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.13 and a beta of 1.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 2.96 and a quick ratio of 2.25. Applied Materials has a 52 week low of $37.41 and a 52 week high of $62.40.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $4.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.10 billion. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 45.17% and a net margin of 18.53%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.67 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Applied Materials will post 4.39 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.37%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 23rd. This is an increase from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.09%.
Applied Materials declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, February 14th that allows the company to buyback $6.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the manufacturing equipment provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Applied Materials news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.47, for a total value of $922,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 76,967 shares in the company, valued at $4,731,161.49. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.47, for a total value of $6,440,183.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 322,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,850,796. 0.35% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. SevenBridge Financial Group LLC raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 957.8% in the fourth quarter. SevenBridge Financial Group LLC now owns 2,380 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $122,000 after purchasing an additional 2,155 shares in the last quarter. HM Payson & Co. raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 65.1% in the fourth quarter. HM Payson & Co. now owns 216,772 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $11,081,000 after purchasing an additional 85,438 shares in the last quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 48.9% in the fourth quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 61,500 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $3,144,000 after purchasing an additional 20,200 shares in the last quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 68.5% in the fourth quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC now owns 6,042 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $299,000 after purchasing an additional 2,457 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Capital Wealth Advisors bought a new position in Applied Materials in the fourth quarter worth $1,313,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.28% of the company’s stock.
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Applied Materials Company Profile
Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries worldwide. It operates through three segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, and Display and Adjacent Markets. The Semiconductor Systems segment develops, manufactures, and sells a range of manufacturing equipment used to fabricate semiconductor chips or integrated circuits.
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