Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT – Get Rating) have been given a consensus recommendation of “Moderate Buy” by the thirty brokerages that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $129.33.
Several research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Applied Materials from $88.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 17th. TheStreet upgraded Applied Materials from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 23rd. DA Davidson restated a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, January 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on Applied Materials from $132.00 to $140.00 in a report on Friday, February 17th. Finally, StockNews.com began coverage on Applied Materials in a report on Thursday. They set a “buy” rating for the company.
Applied Materials Stock Down 0.2 %
Shares of NASDAQ:AMAT opened at $122.60 on Friday. Applied Materials has a 52-week low of $71.12 and a 52-week high of $142.01. The stock has a market cap of $103.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.02 and a beta of 1.61. The business’s 50 day moving average is $114.83 and its 200 day moving average is $101.65. The company has a quick ratio of 1.47, a current ratio of 2.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41.
Applied Materials declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Monday, March 13th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the manufacturing equipment provider to purchase up to 9.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
Applied Materials Increases Dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 25th will be given a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.04%. This is an increase from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 24th. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 13.94%.
Insider Activity at Applied Materials
In other Applied Materials news, SVP Teri A. Little sold 6,813 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.44, for a total transaction of $800,118.72. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 98,332 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,548,110.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. In other Applied Materials news, SVP Teri A. Little sold 6,813 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.44, for a total transaction of $800,118.72. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 98,332 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,548,110.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Xun Chen sold 377 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.80, for a total value of $40,640.60. Following the sale, the director now owns 39,868 shares in the company, valued at $4,297,770.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Institutional Investors Weigh In On Applied Materials
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of Applied Materials by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 15,911,113 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,547,031,000 after acquiring an additional 211,646 shares during the period. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD lifted its stake in Applied Materials by 53.6% in the 4th quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 12,263,246 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,194,195,000 after buying an additional 4,277,485 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter valued at about $930,505,000. Morgan Stanley lifted its stake in Applied Materials by 10.5% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 8,614,319 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $838,863,000 after buying an additional 819,979 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parnassus Investments LLC lifted its stake in Applied Materials by 87.2% in the 4th quarter. Parnassus Investments LLC now owns 7,240,747 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $705,104,000 after buying an additional 3,373,082 shares in the last quarter. 75.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Applied Materials
Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the semiconductor, display and related industries. It operates through the following segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, and Display & Adjacent Markets. The Semiconductor Systems segment includes semiconductor capital equipment for etch, rapid thermal processing, deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, metrology and inspection, wafer packaging, and ion implantation.
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