Ascension Asset Management LLC Buys New Stake in Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT)
Ascension Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor bought 48,350 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock, valued at approximately $2,472,000. Applied Materials accounts for approximately 2.3% of Ascension Asset Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 11th biggest holding.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Mathes Company Inc. acquired a new stake in Applied Materials in the third quarter valued at $1,613,000. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 1.1% in the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 6,119,749 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $318,778,000 after acquiring an additional 64,186 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 5.7% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,097,037 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $630,146,000 after acquiring an additional 650,755 shares in the last quarter. Paragon Capital Management Ltd acquired a new stake in Applied Materials in the third quarter valued at $267,000. Finally, Swiss National Bank raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 0.4% in the third quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 3,962,722 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $206,418,000 after acquiring an additional 17,400 shares in the last quarter. 79.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several research firms recently issued reports on AMAT. B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $63.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Saturday, September 30th. Vetr cut shares of Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $60.05 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday. Berenberg Bank reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Citigroup upped their price target 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. Finally, Nomura reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target (up from $55.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-three have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Applied Materials has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $62.64.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $3.97 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.93 billion. Applied Materials had a net margin of 23.62% and a return on equity of 41.51%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 20.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.66 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 4.04 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 14th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 20th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.69%. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.62%.
In other news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Saturday, December 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.47, for a total transaction of $6,440,183.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $290,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 312,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,218,746 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.
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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