Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) Director Alexander Karsner sold 22,762 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.03, for a total value of $1,002,210.86. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link.

Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) traded down 0.94% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $43.31. The company had a trading volume of 6,385,750 shares. Applied Materials, Inc. has a 12-month low of $27.56 and a 12-month high of $47.86. The firm has a market cap of $46.39 billion, a PE ratio of 15.40 and a beta of 1.82. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $44.65 and its 200-day moving average is $41.62. Applied Materials also was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders purchased 2,307 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 118% compared to the average volume of 1,060 call options.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $3.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.69 billion. Applied Materials had a net margin of 24.71% and a return on equity of 43.83%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 32.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.50 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Applied Materials, Inc. will post $3.21 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is 14.18%.

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A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AMAT. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 2.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 75,084,373 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $3,101,736,000 after buying an additional 1,721,964 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 2,063.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 67,009,706 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $2,606,676,000 after buying an additional 63,912,660 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 2.1% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 48,897,158 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $2,019,939,000 after buying an additional 985,296 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 16.8% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 32,013,147 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,245,311,000 after buying an additional 4,604,275 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capital Research Global Investors raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 14.8% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 17,724,836 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $732,213,000 after buying an additional 2,284,836 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.33% of the company’s stock.

AMAT has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. B. Riley reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Monday, May 15th. Needham & Company LLC increased their price target on Applied Materials from $43.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, May 15th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price target on Applied Materials from $42.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, May 15th. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $40.00 price target (up previously from $35.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Applied Materials currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $51.44.

About Applied Materials

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