Elkfork Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund acquired 882,672 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock, valued at approximately $45,123,000. Applied Materials accounts for 1.6% of Elkfork Partners LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 9th largest holding.

Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the 4th quarter valued at $110,000. Risk Paradigm Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the 4th quarter valued at $110,000. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the 4th quarter valued at $122,000. Zions Bancorporation raised its position in shares of Applied Materials by 349.1% during the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,636 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $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 during the 4th quarter valued at $169,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.28% of the company’s stock.

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In related news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of Applied Materials 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 completion of the transaction, 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 SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 4,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.67, for a total transaction 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 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) opened at $58.96 on Friday. Applied Materials has a 52 week low of $37.41 and a 52 week high of $62.40. The company has a market cap of $63,860.75, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.58. The company has a quick ratio of 2.25, a current ratio of 2.96 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, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by $0.08. Applied Materials had a net margin of 18.53% and a return on equity of 45.17%. The business had revenue of $4.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.10 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.67 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Applied Materials will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Applied Materials declared that its board has approved a share repurchase 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 purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 24th will be paid a $0.20 dividend. This is a boost from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 23rd. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 15.09%.

AMAT has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 23rd. Vetr upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.64 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Wells Fargo began coverage on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $65.00 price objective on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $66.00 to $72.00 in a report on Monday, January 8th. Twenty-five analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Applied Materials has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $64.41.

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Applied Materials Profile

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

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