HM Payson & Co. boosted its position in Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 65.1% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 216,772 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 85,438 shares during the period. HM Payson & Co.’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $11,081,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the business. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. grew its position in shares of Applied Materials by 48.9% in the 4th quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 61,500 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $3,144,000 after buying an additional 20,200 shares during the last quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC grew its position in shares of Applied Materials by 68.5% in the 4th quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC now owns 6,042 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $299,000 after buying an additional 2,457 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Capital Wealth Advisors bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the 4th quarter valued at about $1,313,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the 4th quarter valued at about $16,869,000. Finally, Fort Point Capital Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the 4th quarter valued at about $487,000. 79.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
AMAT has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. Vetr lowered Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $61.08 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. Zacks Investment Research lowered Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 23rd. Wells Fargo initiated coverage on Applied Materials in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $65.00 price target on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Twenty-five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $63.58.
In related news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.47, for a total transaction of $922,050.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 76,967 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,731,161.49. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 322,716 shares of company stock worth $16,850,796. 0.35% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
AMAT stock opened at $59.55 on Wednesday. Applied Materials has a 52 week low of $37.41 and a 52 week high of $62.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 2.25 and a current ratio of 2.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $61,465.19, a P/E ratio of 22.49, a P/E/G ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 1.58.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by $0.08. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 45.17% and a net margin of 18.53%. The business had revenue of $4.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.10 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.67 EPS. analysts anticipate that Applied Materials will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 24th will be paid a dividend of $0.20 per share. This is an increase from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.34%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 23rd. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is 15.09%.
Applied Materials announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, February 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase $6.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the manufacturing equipment provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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About Applied Materials
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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