Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC lowered its stake in Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 6.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 32,850 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after selling 2,450 shares during the period. Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $1,357,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the first quarter worth approximately $114,000. James Investment Research Inc. increased its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 90.6% in the first quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 3,050 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $119,000 after buying an additional 1,450 shares in the last quarter. Clean Yield Group acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the first quarter worth approximately $124,000. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 145.4% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,067 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 1,817 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hanson McClain Inc. increased its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 4.3% in the first quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 3,360 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 139 shares in the last quarter. 79.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ AMAT) traded down 0.94% during trading on Friday, hitting $43.31. The stock had a trading volume of 6,385,750 shares. The stock has a market cap of $46.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.40 and a beta of 1.82. Applied Materials, Inc. has a one year low of $27.56 and a one year high of $47.86. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $44.65 and its 200 day moving average price is $41.62.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.02. Applied Materials had a net margin of 22.08% and a return on equity of 40.74%. The firm had revenue of $3.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.69 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.50 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 32.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Applied Materials, Inc. will post $3.21 EPS for the current year.

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

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A number of brokerages have recently commented on AMAT. B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 price objective on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Monday, May 15th. UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $51.00 price objective (up previously from $44.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Nomura lifted their price objective on Applied Materials from $47.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Finally, Instinet reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 price objective (up previously from $47.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $51.44.

In other Applied Materials news, Director Alexander Karsner sold 22,762 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

About Applied Materials

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

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