Covington Capital Management Buys 3,287 Shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

Covington Capital Management boosted its stake in Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 17.9% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 21,623 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,287 shares during the quarter. Covington Capital Management’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $1,105,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of AMAT. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. purchased a new position in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth approximately $110,000. Risk Paradigm Group LLC purchased a new position in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth approximately $110,000. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth approximately $122,000. Zions Bancorporation increased its stake in Applied Materials by 349.1% in the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,636 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $137,000 after purchasing an additional 2,049 shares during the period. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth approximately $169,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.29% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Bank of America assumed coverage on Applied Materials in a research report on Wednesday, March 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $80.00 price objective on the stock. Vetr upgraded Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $66.16 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 19th. BidaskClub upgraded Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Credit Suisse Group restated an “outperform” rating and set a $75.00 price target (up from $74.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Monday, February 26th. Finally, UBS initiated coverage on Applied Materials in a report on Wednesday. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $58.00 target price on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $64.66.

Shares of NASDAQ AMAT opened at $52.34 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 2.96, a quick ratio of 2.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. Applied Materials has a fifty-two week low of $37.41 and a fifty-two week high of $62.40. The company has a market capitalization of $58,376.17, a PE ratio of 16.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.95 and a beta of 1.63.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $4.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.10 billion. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 45.17% and a net margin of 18.53%. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.67 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that Applied Materials will post 4.41 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 24th will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.53%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 23rd. This is a boost from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 12.31%.

Applied Materials declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, February 14th that permits the company to repurchase $6.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the manufacturing equipment provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Applied Materials news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.47, for a total transaction of $922,050.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 76,967 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,731,161.49. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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About Applied Materials

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

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

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