Applied Materials’ (AMAT) “Buy” Rating Reiterated at Stifel Nicolaus

Stifel Nicolaus reiterated their buy rating on shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) in a report issued on Friday morning.

A number of other analysts have also recently issued reports on AMAT. B. Riley reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $39.00 price objective on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Friday, September 16th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $34.00 price objective on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Friday, September 16th. Citigroup Inc. set a $37.00 price objective on Applied Materials and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, September 19th. Berenberg Bank raised their price objective on Applied Materials from $30.00 to $35.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. Finally, Pacific Crest reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $32.42.

Shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) traded down 0.740% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $32.885. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,140,475 shares. Applied Materials has a 52-week low of $15.44 and a 52-week high of $33.68. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $32.14 and a 200 day moving average price of $28.91. The firm has a market cap of $35.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.354 and a beta of 1.85.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 28.09% and a net margin of 15.90%. The company earned $3.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.31 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.29 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 39.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Applied Materials will post $2.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 22nd will be paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.21%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 17th. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is 25.64%.

In other news, Director Dennis D. Powell sold 21,017 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.95, for a total value of $671,493.15. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 98,207 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,137,713.65. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Thomas F. Larkins sold 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.94, for a total value of $3,194,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 482,782 shares in the company, valued at $15,420,057.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AMAT. FMR LLC increased its position in Applied Materials by 65.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 32,620,245 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $781,907,000 after buying an additional 12,881,391 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors increased its position in Applied Materials by 126.0% in the third quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 13,560,000 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $408,834,000 after buying an additional 7,560,000 shares during the period. Winslow Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Applied Materials during the second quarter worth $173,715,000. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in Applied Materials by 242.3% in the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 5,346,423 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $161,195,000 after buying an additional 3,784,398 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in Applied Materials by 340.2% in the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 4,651,215 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $140,233,000 after buying an additional 3,594,718 shares during the period. 80.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc (Applied) provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the semiconductor, display, solar photovoltaic (PV) and related industries across the world. The Company operates in four segments: Silicon Systems, Applied Global Services, Display, and Energy and Environmental Solutions.

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