Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) has been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the twenty-seven brokerages that are presently covering the stock. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, twenty have assigned a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price target among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $31.21.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on AMAT shares. Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $28.00 target price (up from $25.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Thursday, June 23rd. Vetr downgraded Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $25.00 target price for the company. in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Pacific Crest reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. B. Riley reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $27.00 price objective on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Friday, June 10th. Finally, DA Davidson raised Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $24.00 to $28.00 in a research note on Friday, June 24th.

Shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) opened at 29.94 on Monday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $29.70 and a 200-day moving average price of $24.83. Applied Materials has a 1-year low of $15.07 and a 1-year high of $31.07. The company has a market cap of $32.36 billion, a PE ratio of 23.61 and a beta of 1.84.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 18th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.02. The business earned $2.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.84 billion. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 22.37% and a net margin of 14.62%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.33 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Applied Materials will post $1.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, November 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.34%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 22nd. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 31.25%.

In related news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.00, for a total transaction of $150,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Omkaram Nalamasu sold 99,491 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.15, for a total value of $2,999,653.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 65.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 32,620,245 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $781,907,000 after buying an additional 12,881,391 shares in the last quarter. Winslow Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the second quarter valued at $173,715,000. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new position in Applied Materials during the second quarter worth approximately $113,508,000. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. acquired a new position in Applied Materials during the second quarter worth approximately $74,805,000. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in Applied Materials by 68.0% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 7,110,558 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $170,439,000 after buying an additional 2,876,969 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 82.20% of the company’s stock.

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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