Investors Buy Large Volume of Applied Materials Call Options (NASDAQ:AMAT)

Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) saw some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders purchased 2,909 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 195% compared to the typical volume of 987 call options.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AMAT. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 78.0% in the first quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 2,692 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 1,180 shares during the last quarter. Pinnacle Bank bought a new position in Applied Materials during the first quarter valued at about $113,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new position in Applied Materials during the first quarter valued at about $114,000. James Investment Research Inc. raised its position in Applied Materials by 90.6% in the first quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 3,050 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $119,000 after buying an additional 1,450 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Independent Advisor Alliance bought a new position in Applied Materials during the fourth quarter valued at about $105,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.78% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on AMAT. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective (up previously from $45.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Friday, May 19th. Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price target (up previously from $45.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $35.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, May 21st. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $40.00 price objective (up previously from $35.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Wednesday, May 17th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the stock. Applied Materials currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $46.56.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ AMAT) opened at 46.15 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $44.46 and its 200 day moving average is $38.54. Applied Materials has a 12 month low of $25.68 and a 12 month high of $47.86. The stock has a market capitalization of $49.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.09 and a beta of 1.81.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.03. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 38.28% and a net margin of 20.41%. The company had revenue of $3.55 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.54 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.34 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 44.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Applied Materials will post $3.11 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.87%. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is 16.46%.

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About Applied Materials

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