Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its stake in Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 168.1% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 1,268 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after buying an additional 795 shares during the period. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc.’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $42,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Fosun International Ltd acquired a new position in Applied Materials in the fourth quarter valued at about $252,000. Regentatlantic Capital LLC lifted its stake in Applied Materials by 12.9% in the fourth quarter. Regentatlantic Capital LLC now owns 14,844 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $486,000 after buying an additional 1,696 shares during the period. Mondrian Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter worth about $33,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Applied Materials by 455.1% during the fourth quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 9,404 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $308,000 after purchasing an additional 7,710 shares during the period. Finally, Trust Co. of Vermont raised its position in shares of Applied Materials by 4.5% during the fourth quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 62,479 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $2,046,000 after purchasing an additional 2,686 shares during the period. 79.35% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on AMAT shares. Stifel Nicolaus set a $63.00 price target on Applied Materials and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 16th. B. Riley lowered Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $63.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Monday, October 29th. UBS Group lowered Applied Materials from a “positive” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised Applied Materials from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $38.00 to $45.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $50.96.

Shares of Applied Materials stock opened at $40.85 on Thursday. Applied Materials, Inc. has a 52-week low of $28.79 and a 52-week high of $62.40. The company has a market capitalization of $37.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.18, a PEG ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 1.69. The company has a current ratio of 2.64, a quick ratio of 1.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 15th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 62.56% and a net margin of 19.20%. The business had revenue of $4.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4 billion. Research analysts forecast that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 3.37 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 21st will be given a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 20th. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 17.98%.

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Applied Materials Company Profile

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries. It operates through three segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, and Display and Adjacent Markets. The Semiconductor Systems segment develops, manufactures, and sells various manufacturing equipment that is 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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