Private Advisor Group LLC boosted its stake in Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 4.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 14,353 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after buying an additional 654 shares during the period. Private Advisor Group LLC’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $344,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of AMAT. Advisor Partners LLC raised its position in Applied Materials by 0.3% in the first quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 12,995 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $275,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the last quarter. Point View Wealth Management Inc. raised its position in Applied Materials by 0.3% in the second quarter. Point View Wealth Management Inc. now owns 20,516 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $492,000 after buying an additional 54 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR raised its position in Applied Materials by 0.5% in the second quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 12,901 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $309,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. First Manhattan Co. raised its position in Applied Materials by 1.1% in the second quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 17,633 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $422,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Applied Materials by 3.5% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 8,922 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $214,000 after buying an additional 305 shares during the last quarter. 82.20% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) traded down 0.33% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $30.29. The stock had a trading volume of 3,217,686 shares. Applied Materials Inc. has a 12-month low of $14.29 and a 12-month high of $30.78. The stock has a market cap of $32.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.89 and a beta of 1.79. The company has a 50-day moving average of $28.72 and a 200-day moving average of $24.06.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.02. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 22.37% and a net margin of 14.62%. The firm had revenue of $2.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.84 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.33 earnings per share. Applied Materials’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Applied Materials Inc. will post $1.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 25th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 22nd. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is currently 31.25%.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. B. Riley raised Applied Materials to a “buy” rating and set a $27.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, May 25th. Vetr raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Summit Redstone reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Finally, S&P Equity Research set a $31.00 price target on Applied Materials and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, August 21st. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $30.39.

In other news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.00, for a total transaction of $150,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 35,505 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.06, for a total value of $854,250.30. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 495,691 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,926,325.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc (Applied) provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the semiconductor, display, solar photovoltaic (PV) and related industries across the world. The Company operates in four segments: Silicon Systems, Applied Global Services, Display, and Energy and Environmental Solutions.

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