Optimum Investment Advisors lifted its stake in Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 4.8% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 4,400 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the quarter. Optimum Investment Advisors’ holdings in Applied Materials were worth $269,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Generation Investment Management LLP increased its position in Applied Materials by 0.8% in the third quarter. Generation Investment Management LLP now owns 4,600,194 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $229,550,000 after buying an additional 35,644 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 5.9% during the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 3,844,446 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $191,838,000 after buying an additional 213,638 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 10.0% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 2,370,768 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $118,301,000 after acquiring an additional 216,052 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 66.0% during the 3rd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 2,071,712 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $103,378,000 after acquiring an additional 823,448 shares during the period. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 52.0% in the 3rd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 1,825,947 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $91,116,000 after acquiring an additional 625,034 shares in the last quarter. 79.81% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several equities analysts have weighed in on AMAT shares. Bank of America raised shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 10th. KeyCorp raised their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $54.00 to $70.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 15th. BidaskClub cut shares of Applied Materials from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 1st. DZ Bank downgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $46.00 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, October 29th. Finally, Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Monday, November 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company. Applied Materials currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $64.62.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $3.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.68 billion. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 35.13% and a net margin of 18.52%. The company’s revenue was down .1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.97 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 3.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 11th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 19th will be given a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.31%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 18th. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.63%.
In other Applied Materials news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.86, for a total transaction of $188,580.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Gary E. Dickerson sold 1,000,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.11, for a total value of $61,110,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 1,053,000 shares of company stock worth $64,335,080 in the last 90 days. 0.44% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
About Applied Materials
Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries. It operates through three segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, and Display and Adjacent Markets. The Semiconductor Systems segment develops, manufactures, and sells various manufacturing equipment that is used to fabricate semiconductor chips or integrated circuits.
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