Sensato Investors LLC Grows Stake in Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT)

Sensato Investors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 2,572.1% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 374,100 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 360,100 shares during the quarter. Applied Materials makes up approximately 2.4% of Sensato Investors LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 18th biggest position. Sensato Investors LLC’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $19,124,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in AMAT. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 1.4% during the third quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 1,543,224 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $80,387,000 after buying an additional 21,034 shares during the period. Gamco Investors INC. ET AL acquired a new stake in Applied Materials in the third quarter worth about $650,000. Gabelli Funds LLC purchased a new position in Applied Materials during the third quarter valued at approximately $4,480,000. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in Applied Materials by 137.3% during the third quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 7,278 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $379,000 after acquiring an additional 4,211 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd increased its position in shares of Applied Materials by 19.3% in the third quarter. Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd now owns 19,090 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $994,000 after buying an additional 3,090 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 79.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on AMAT. KeyCorp lifted their price target on Applied Materials from $67.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Vetr lowered Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $61.08 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Applied Materials from $60.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, November 20th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Twenty-six research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $64.10.

In related news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Friday, December 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.47, for a total value of $6,440,183.75. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Omkaram Nalamasu sold 53,466 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total value of $2,833,698.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 322,716 shares of company stock worth $16,850,796 in the last quarter. 0.35% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) opened at $60.97 on Tuesday. Applied Materials, Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $37.41 and a fifty-two week high of $62.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $64,060.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.98, a P/E/G ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 1.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 2.96 and a quick ratio of 2.25.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.08. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 45.17% and a net margin of 18.53%. The firm had revenue of $4.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.10 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.67 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 4.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 24th will be issued a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 23rd. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.31%. This is a boost from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 11.14%.

Applied Materials declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Wednesday, February 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $6.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the manufacturing equipment provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, display and related industries. The Company’s segments are Semiconductor Systems, which includes semiconductor capital equipment for etch, rapid thermal processing, deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, metrology and inspection, wafer packaging, and ion implantation; Applied Global Services, which provides integrated solutions to optimize equipment and fab performance and productivity; Display and Adjacent Markets, which includes products for manufacturing liquid crystal displays, organic light-emitting diodes, upgrades and roll-to-roll Web coating systems and other display technologies for televisions, personal computers, smart phones and other consumer-oriented devices, and Corporate and Other segment, which includes revenues from products, as well as costs of products sold for fabricating solar photovoltaic cells and modules, and certain operating expenses.

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

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