Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors LLC cut its holdings in shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 22.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 34,705 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after selling 10,208 shares during the quarter. Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $1,774,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of AMAT. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $8,336,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 9.3% during the 3rd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 27,416 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,428,000 after acquiring an additional 2,329 shares during the last quarter. Barometer Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $537,000. Gilman Hill Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 13.7% during the 3rd quarter. Gilman Hill Asset Management LLC now owns 14,875 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $775,000 after acquiring an additional 1,790 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sanders Morris Harris LLC acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $3,516,000. 79.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ AMAT) opened at $56.13 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $59,110.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.63, a PEG ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.72. The company has a current ratio of 2.96, a quick ratio of 2.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. Applied Materials, Inc. has a 1 year low of $35.55 and a 1 year high of $60.89.
Applied Materials announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, February 14th that allows the company to buyback $6.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the manufacturing equipment provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 24th will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.43%. This is an increase from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 23rd. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 11.14%.
In related news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.67, for a total transaction of $214,680.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of the company’s 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. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 312,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,218,746. Corporate insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Vetr lowered Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $61.08 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Nomura reissued a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price (up from $55.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Credit Suisse Group upped their price objective on Applied Materials from $62.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Royal Bank of Canada upped their price objective on Applied Materials from $55.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Deutsche Bank upped their price objective on Applied Materials from $58.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-five have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $64.06.
About Applied Materials
Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, display and related industries. The Company’s segments are Semiconductor Systems, which includes semiconductor capital equipment for etch, rapid thermal processing, deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, metrology and inspection, wafer packaging, and ion implantation; Applied Global Services, which provides integrated solutions to optimize equipment and fab performance and productivity; Display and Adjacent Markets, which includes products for manufacturing liquid crystal displays, organic light-emitting diodes, upgrades and roll-to-roll Web coating systems and other display technologies for televisions, personal computers, smart phones and other consumer-oriented devices, and Corporate and Other segment, which includes revenues from products, as well as costs of products sold for fabricating solar photovoltaic cells and modules, and certain operating expenses.
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