First Trust Advisors LP increased its holdings in Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 8.4% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,376,391 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 183,210 shares during the quarter. First Trust Advisors LP’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $121,481,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the third quarter valued at approximately $105,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $122,000. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the second quarter valued at approximately $109,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 281.5% during the third quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 2,575 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $134,000 after acquiring an additional 1,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zions Bancorporation raised its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 349.1% during the third quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,636 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after acquiring an additional 2,049 shares during the last quarter. 79.30% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities analysts have commented on AMAT shares. Nomura reissued a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Citigroup increased their target price on Applied Materials from $60.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, November 20th. Vetr raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.07 target price for the company in a report on Monday, November 20th. Bank of America increased their target price on Applied Materials from $65.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, B. Riley reissued a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 target price on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Monday, November 13th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $62.56.

In related news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $290,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Omkaram Nalamasu sold 53,466 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total value of $2,833,698.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 312,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,218,746 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ AMAT) opened at $49.55 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 3.14 and a quick ratio of 2.43. The stock has a market capitalization of $52,200.00, a P/E ratio of 15.63, a PEG ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 1.72. Applied Materials, Inc. has a 52-week low of $34.58 and a 52-week high of $60.89.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $3.97 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.93 billion. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 41.51% and a net margin of 23.62%. The business’s revenue was up 20.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.66 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 4.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 14th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 20th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.81%. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 12.62%.

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Applied Materials Company Profile

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, display and related industries. The Company’s segments are Semiconductor Systems, which includes semiconductor capital equipment for etch, rapid thermal processing, deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, metrology and inspection, wafer packaging, and ion implantation; Applied Global Services, which provides integrated solutions to optimize equipment and fab performance and productivity; Display and Adjacent Markets, which includes products for manufacturing liquid crystal displays, organic light-emitting diodes, upgrades and roll-to-roll Web coating systems and other display technologies for televisions, personal computers, smart phones and other consumer-oriented devices, and Corporate and Other segment, which includes revenues from products, as well as costs of products sold for fabricating solar photovoltaic cells and modules, and certain operating expenses.

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

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