Applied Materials (AMAT) Lifted to Hold at ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday, ValuEngine reports.

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on AMAT. Stifel Nicolaus decreased their price target on shares of Applied Materials from $63.00 to $53.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Monday, February 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Applied Materials from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, February 11th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, February 9th. Argus reiterated a buy rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. Finally, DZ Bank downgraded shares of Applied Materials from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $49.90.

Shares of Applied Materials stock opened at $43.95 on Friday. Applied Materials has a 52-week low of $28.79 and a 52-week high of $56.94. The company has a quick ratio of 1.74, a current ratio of 2.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65. The company has a market capitalization of $41.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.88, a PEG ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 1.64.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.79 by $0.02. Applied Materials had a net margin of 23.50% and a return on equity of 58.28%. The company had revenue of $3.75 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.71 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.06 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Applied Materials will post 2.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 13th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 23rd will be issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 22nd. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.91%. This is a boost from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 17.98%.

In other news, insider Omkaram Nalamasu sold 143,255 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.73, for a total value of $5,834,776.15. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Steve G. Ghanayem sold 25,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.70, for a total transaction of $1,067,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 170,255 shares of company stock worth $6,987,176. 0.44% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AMAT. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 47.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 20,336,220 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $785,997,000 after acquiring an additional 6,531,516 shares during the period. Martingale Asset Management L P increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 144,748 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $5,595,000 after acquiring an additional 3,107 shares during the period. Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials in the 3rd quarter valued at $1,759,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 76.3% in the 3rd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 973,789 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $37,637,000 after acquiring an additional 421,583 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 3.5% in the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,229,432 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $86,165,000 after acquiring an additional 75,357 shares during the period. 78.98% 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 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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