Eaton Vance Management lifted its stake in Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 6.6% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 169,401 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 10,459 shares during the period. Eaton Vance Management’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $8,660,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC purchased a new position in Applied Materials during the 3rd quarter valued at about $105,000. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in Applied Materials during the 4th quarter valued at about $122,000. First Personal Financial Services increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 281.5% during the 3rd quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 2,575 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $134,000 after acquiring an additional 1,900 shares in the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 349.1% during the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,636 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after acquiring an additional 2,049 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware purchased a new position in Applied Materials during the 4th quarter valued at about $169,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.93% of the company’s stock.
In other Applied Materials news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.47, for a total transaction of $6,440,183.75. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 4,000 shares of the business’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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 307,716 shares of company stock worth $15,928,746 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released 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. Applied Materials had a net margin of 18.53% and a return on equity of 45.17%. The business had revenue of $4.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.10 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.67 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 4.39 EPS for the current year.
Applied Materials declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, February 14th that permits the company to buyback $6.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the manufacturing equipment provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 24th will be given a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 23rd. This is a boost from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.39%. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 11.14%.
AMAT has been the subject of several recent research reports. Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, December 5th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $65.00 target price for the company. UBS Group upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Vetr downgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $59.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, December 15th. Finally, B. Riley restated a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 target price on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Twenty-six analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $64.10.
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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