Lazard Asset Management LLC lessened its stake in shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 22.7% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 6,264,005 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after selling 1,844,546 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC owned 0.58% of Applied Materials worth $258,765,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Applied Materials by 3.4% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 73,362,409 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $2,853,797,000 after purchasing an additional 2,441,471 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Applied Materials by 2,063.7% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 67,009,706 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $2,606,676,000 after purchasing an additional 63,912,660 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Applied Materials by 16.8% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 32,013,147 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,245,311,000 after purchasing an additional 4,604,275 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in Applied Materials by 7.6% during the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 13,751,324 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $568,067,000 after purchasing an additional 973,818 shares during the period. Finally, Egerton Capital UK LLP grew its holdings in Applied Materials by 18.0% during the second quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 13,734,934 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $567,390,000 after purchasing an additional 2,092,326 shares during the period. 79.47% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other Applied Materials news, Director Alexander Karsner sold 22,762 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.03, for a total value of $1,002,210.86. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) traded up 2.02% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $48.09. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,497,150 shares. Applied Materials, Inc. has a one year low of $27.56 and a one year high of $48.38. The firm has a market cap of $51.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.10 and a beta of 1.81. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $44.31 and its 200 day moving average price is $42.57.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.86 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.02. Applied Materials had a net margin of 22.08% and a return on equity of 40.74%. The business had revenue of $3.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.69 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.50 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 32.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Applied Materials, Inc. will post $3.20 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 24th will be paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 22nd. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 14.18%.

Several research firms have issued reports on AMAT. Royal Bank Of Canada raised Applied Materials from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $48.00 to $55.00 in a report on Sunday. KeyCorp restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Saturday. Vetr downgraded Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $47.76 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Friday. Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $49.00 to $52.00 in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $51.86.

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About Applied Materials

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

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