Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT)’s share price was down 5.5% on Monday . The company traded as low as $40.22 and last traded at $40.35. Approximately 20,878,678 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 98% from the average daily volume of 10,527,293 shares. The stock had previously closed at $42.70.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on AMAT shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Applied Materials from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, January 28th. Royal Bank of Canada raised Applied Materials from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the company from $38.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. ValuEngine lowered Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. BidaskClub raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, February 9th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus decreased their price target on Applied Materials from $63.00 to $53.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, February 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $52.95.

The company has a quick ratio of 1.74, a current ratio of 2.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65. The company has a market capitalization of $40.54 billion, a PE ratio of 9.07, a PEG ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 1.66.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, May 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.04. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 49.38% and a net margin of 22.10%. The firm had revenue of $3.54 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.48 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.22 EPS. Applied Materials’s revenue was down 22.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 2.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 13th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 23rd will be paid a dividend of $0.21 per share. This is a positive change from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 22nd. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.08%. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 17.98%.

In related news, insider Omkaram Nalamasu sold 143,255 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.73, for a total transaction of $5,834,776.15. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Steve G. Ghanayem sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.70, for a total value of $1,067,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 170,255 shares of company stock worth $6,987,176. 0.44% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AMAT. Inscription Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Applied Materials during the 1st quarter worth about $25,000. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 190.8% during the 1st quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC now owns 698 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $27,000 after purchasing an additional 458 shares during the period. Sontag Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in Applied Materials during the 4th quarter worth about $30,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Applied Materials during the 4th quarter worth about $31,000. Finally, Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 73.7% during the 1st quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 780 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 331 shares during the period. 78.26% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries. It operates through three segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, and Display and Adjacent Markets. The Semiconductor Systems segment develops, manufactures, and sells various manufacturing equipment that is used to fabricate semiconductor chips or integrated circuits.

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