Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. grew its stake in Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 42.9% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 825,637 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 247,761 shares during the quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. owned about 0.08% of Applied Materials worth $42,205,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 68,889,949 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $3,521,655,000 after purchasing an additional 1,248,388 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Applied Materials by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,968,458 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $661,743,000 after buying an additional 234,528 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in Applied Materials by 5.7% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,097,037 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $630,146,000 after buying an additional 650,755 shares during the period. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership raised its stake in Applied Materials by 10.2% during the 4th quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 11,121,032 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $568,507,000 after buying an additional 1,033,700 shares during the period. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. raised its stake in Applied Materials by 2.2% during the 3rd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 10,859,674 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $565,681,000 after buying an additional 235,793 shares during the period. 79.30% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several analysts recently commented on the company. Vetr raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.64 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 27th. BidaskClub raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. ValuEngine raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Deutsche Bank raised their price objective on Applied Materials from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC raised their price objective on Applied Materials to $66.00 and gave the stock a “positive” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Twenty-six analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Applied Materials has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $64.10.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $4.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.10 billion. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 45.17% and a net margin of 18.53%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.67 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 24th will be issued a $0.20 dividend. This is a boost from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 23rd. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.31%. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 15.09%.
Applied Materials declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, February 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase $6.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the manufacturing equipment provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.47, for a total value of $922,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 76,967 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,731,161.49. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.67, for a total value of $214,680.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 322,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,850,796 in the last 90 days. 0.35% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
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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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