Traders Buy Shares of Applied Materials (AMAT) on Weakness After Insider Selling

Traders bought shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) on weakness during trading hours on Monday following insider selling activity. $176.59 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $148.05 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $28.54 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Applied Materials had the 24th highest net in-flow for the day. Applied Materials traded down ($0.64) for the day and closed at $60.97Specifically, VP Omkaram Nalamasu sold 53,466 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total value of $2,833,698.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 29th. The shares were 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. Insiders sold a total of 322,716 shares of company stock worth $16,850,796 over the last ninety days. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on AMAT. BidaskClub raised shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $75.00 price target (up from $74.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Monday, February 26th. Vetr lowered shares of Applied Materials from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.52 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, February 20th. 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. Finally, Deutsche Bank raised their price target on shares of Applied Materials from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Twenty-six investment analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Applied Materials has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $64.10.

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The stock has a market capitalization of $64,060.39, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.75, a PEG ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 2.96 and a quick ratio of 2.25.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its quarterly 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 business had revenue of $4.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.10 billion. Applied Materials had a net margin of 18.53% and a return on equity of 45.17%. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.67 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 23rd. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.34%. This is an increase from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 15.09%.

Applied Materials announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, February 14th that permits the company to buyback $6.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the manufacturing equipment provider to reacquire 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.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 68,889,949 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $3,521,655,000 after buying an additional 1,248,388 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,968,458 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $661,743,000 after purchasing an additional 234,528 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 5.7% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,097,037 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $630,146,000 after purchasing an additional 650,755 shares during the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 10.2% in the 4th quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 11,121,032 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $568,507,000 after purchasing an additional 1,033,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its holdings in Applied Materials by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 10,859,674 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $565,681,000 after purchasing an additional 235,793 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.30% of the company’s stock.

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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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