Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of September. As of September 14th, there was short interest totalling 16,155,438 shares, an increase of 12.3% from the August 31st total of 14,385,573 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 15,093,746 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.1 days. Currently, 1.6% of the shares of the company are sold short.

AMAT stock opened at $38.26 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 1.67 and a current ratio of 2.52. Applied Materials has a 52-week low of $37.39 and a 52-week high of $62.40. The stock has a market cap of $38.43 billion, a PE ratio of 11.82, a PEG ratio of 0.80 and a beta of 1.53.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.03. Applied Materials had a net margin of 19.87% and a return on equity of 58.23%. The business had revenue of $4.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.42 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.86 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.3% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Applied Materials will post 4.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 23rd will be paid a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.09%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 21st. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is currently 24.62%.

Several research firms recently issued reports on AMAT. BidaskClub downgraded Applied Materials from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 11th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 2nd. Citigroup lowered their price target on shares of Applied Materials from $68.00 to $57.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Susquehanna Bancshares lowered their price target on shares of Applied Materials from $73.00 to $65.00 and set a “positive” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, July 9th. Finally, B. Riley lowered their price target on shares of Applied Materials from $70.00 to $63.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 17th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $62.09.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AMAT. Kaizen Advisory LLC boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 147.4% during the 2nd quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 2,561 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $118,000 after acquiring an additional 1,526 shares in the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 5,102.0% during the 2nd quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 2,601 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 2,551 shares in the last quarter. AdvisorNet Financial Inc boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 127.1% during the 2nd quarter. AdvisorNet Financial Inc now owns 3,054 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $141,000 after acquiring an additional 1,709 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 24.3% during the 2nd quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 6,281 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $142,000 after acquiring an additional 1,228 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amussen Hunsaker Associates LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the 2nd quarter worth about $162,000. 77.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Further Reading: Price to Earnings Ratio (PE)

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