Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) saw some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders purchased 2,307 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 118% compared to the typical volume of 1,060 call options.

Shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ AMAT) opened at 52.40 on Monday. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $46.81 and its 200 day moving average price is $43.82. Applied Materials has a 52-week low of $27.56 and a 52-week high of $52.63. The stock has a market cap of $55.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.63 and a beta of 1.86.

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, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84 by $0.02. Applied Materials had a net margin of 22.08% and a return on equity of 40.74%. The company had revenue of $3.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.69 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.50 EPS. Applied Materials’s revenue for the quarter was up 32.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Applied Materials will post $3.20 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 14th. Investors of record on Friday, November 24th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.76%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 22nd. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 14.18%.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on AMAT. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday, October 1st. B. Riley reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $63.00 price objective on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Saturday, September 30th. Instinet reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 price objective (up previously from $50.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Saturday, September 30th. Evercore ISI reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective (up previously from $56.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Saturday, September 30th. Finally, Nomura upped their price objective on Applied Materials from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 29th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.01.

In other news, Director Alexander Karsner sold 22,762 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 23rd. The stock was 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Thomas F. Larkins sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.24, for a total value of $1,537,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the 2nd quarter valued at $109,000. Wunderlich Capital Managemnt lifted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Wunderlich Capital Managemnt now owns 3,037 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 87 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 145.4% during the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,067 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 1,817 shares in the last quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the 2nd quarter valued at $134,000. Finally, IHT Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 67.8% during the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,344 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 1,351 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 79.47% of the company’s stock.

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About Applied Materials

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