Hanseatic Management Services Inc. raised its holdings in Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 4.3% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 30,488 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,252 shares during the period. Applied Materials makes up approximately 1.6% of Hanseatic Management Services Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 7th largest position. Hanseatic Management Services Inc.’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $1,559,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the 4th quarter worth approximately $110,000. Risk Paradigm Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the 4th quarter worth approximately $110,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $122,000. Zions Bancorporation increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 349.1% in the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,636 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after purchasing an additional 2,049 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware acquired a new stake in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $169,000. Institutional investors own 79.30% of the company’s stock.
In related news, VP Omkaram Nalamasu sold 53,466 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $2,833,698.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Friday, December 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.47, for a total transaction of $6,440,183.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 307,716 shares of company stock valued at $15,928,746. Corporate insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $4.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.10 billion. Applied Materials had a net margin of 18.53% and a return on equity of 45.17%. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.67 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current year.
Applied Materials announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, February 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $6.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the manufacturing equipment provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 24th will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This is a boost from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.30%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 23rd. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is 11.14%.
Several analysts recently weighed in on AMAT shares. Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Applied Materials from $60.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, November 20th. Vetr upgraded shares of 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. Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on shares of Applied Materials from $58.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their target price on shares of Applied Materials from $65.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Twenty-six research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $64.10.
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About Applied Materials
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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