MetLife Investment Advisors LLC Acquires Shares of 329,979 Applied Materials (AMAT)

MetLife Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) during the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm acquired 329,979 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock, valued at approximately $16,869,000.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Fort Point Capital Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the fourth quarter worth about $487,000. BB&T Securities LLC increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 75.9% in the fourth quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 23,026 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,177,000 after purchasing an additional 9,939 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 631.8% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,962,471 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $100,438,000 after purchasing an additional 1,694,283 shares during the last quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC increased its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 57,771 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $2,953,000 after purchasing an additional 3,509 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hoylecohen LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the fourth quarter worth about $2,225,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.28% of the company’s stock.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) opened at $58.50 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $62,452.84, a P/E ratio of 22.08, a PEG ratio of 1.13 and a beta of 1.58. Applied Materials has a 52 week low of $37.41 and a 52 week high of $62.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 2.25 and a current ratio of 2.96.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 24th will be paid a dividend of $0.20 per share. This is a boost from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 23rd. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.37%. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.09%.

Applied Materials announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, February 14th that permits the company to repurchase $6.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the manufacturing equipment provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on AMAT shares. Nomura reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price (up 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 stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Vetr raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.07 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Zacks Investment Research raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Twenty-five investment analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $64.25.

In other news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.47, for a total transaction of $922,050.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 76,967 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,731,161.49. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.67, for a total value of $214,680.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 322,716 shares of company stock worth $16,850,796. Insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

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Applied Materials Profile

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries worldwide. It operates through three segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, and Display and Adjacent Markets. The Semiconductor Systems segment develops, manufactures, and sells a range of manufacturing equipment 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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