Royal London Asset Management Ltd. Reduces Holdings in Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT)

Royal London Asset Management Ltd. lessened its position in Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 8.2% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 395,109 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after selling 35,336 shares during the quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd.’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $15,668,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in AMAT. Family Legacy Inc. lifted its holdings in Applied Materials by 4.4% during the 4th quarter. Family Legacy Inc. now owns 30,602 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,002,000 after buying an additional 1,288 shares in the last quarter. Aptus Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Applied Materials during the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,576,000. Pactiv General Employee Benefit Trust acquired a new stake in Applied Materials during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $18,165,000. XR Securities LLC acquired a new stake in Applied Materials during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $619,000. Finally, Lourd Capital LLC lifted its stake in Applied Materials by 3.9% during the 4th quarter. Lourd Capital LLC now owns 19,412 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $636,000 after acquiring an additional 728 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.39% of the company’s stock.

Applied Materials stock traded down $0.44 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $39.50. The company had a trading volume of 6,709,628 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,425,075. The firm has a market capitalization of $39.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.66. Applied Materials, Inc. has a 1 year low of $28.79 and a 1 year high of $53.23. The company has a quick ratio of 1.77, a current ratio of 2.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $3.54 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.48 billion. Applied Materials had a net margin of 22.10% and a return on equity of 47.88%. The firm’s revenue was down 22.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.22 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts expect that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 2.98 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 23rd will be given a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 22nd. This is a positive change from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.13%. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 18.88%.

In related news, insider Omkaram Nalamasu sold 143,255 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.73, for a total value of $5,834,776.15. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Steve G. Ghanayem sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.70, for a total value of $1,067,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 170,255 shares of company stock worth $6,987,176. Insiders own 0.44% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on AMAT. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday. BidaskClub lowered shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, May 10th. UBS Group upped their target price on shares of Applied Materials from $45.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. Cowen upped their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $47.00 to $53.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $45.00 to $52.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $52.57.

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About Applied Materials

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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