Applied Materials (AMAT) Shares Gap Down to $54.73

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)’s share price gapped down before the market opened on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $53.46, but opened at $54.73. Applied Materials shares last traded at $51.23, with a volume of 13753555 shares traded.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on AMAT shares. UBS raised shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, February 19th. Vetr cut shares of Applied Materials from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.08 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday. Needham & Company LLC raised shares of Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $66.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Finally, Bank of America started coverage on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Wednesday, March 21st. They set a “buy” rating and a $80.00 price target on the stock. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $64.52.

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The company has a market cap of $57,504.10, a P/E ratio of 15.72, a PEG ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 1.63. 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 (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.08. Applied Materials had a net margin of 18.53% and a return on equity of 45.17%. The firm had revenue of $4.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.10 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.67 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Applied Materials will post 4.41 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 24th will be paid 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 1.57%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 23rd. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 12.31%.

Applied Materials announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, February 14th that permits the company to buyback $6.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the manufacturing equipment provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AMAT. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 10.6% during the 3rd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 114,759 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $5,978,000 after purchasing an additional 11,038 shares during the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 1,892.7% during the 3rd quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 862,580 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $44,932,000 after purchasing an additional 819,292 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 6,119,749 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $318,778,000 after purchasing an additional 64,186 shares during the last quarter. QUANTRES ASSET MANAGEMENT Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the 4th quarter worth about $516,000. Finally, DnB Asset Management AS boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 15.9% during the 4th quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 205,035 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $10,481,000 after purchasing an additional 28,200 shares during the last quarter. 79.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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.

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