Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. Sells 1,004 Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT)

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Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. decreased its holdings in Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 1.2% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 84,691 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after selling 1,004 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Applied Materials were worth $3,359,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC grew its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 190.8% in the 1st quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC now owns 698 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $27,000 after purchasing an additional 458 shares during the last quarter. Sontag Advisory LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth about $30,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth about $31,000. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 73.7% in the 1st quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 780 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 331 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Horan Capital Advisors LLC. bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the 1st quarter worth about $31,000. Institutional investors own 76.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on AMAT shares. Citigroup increased their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $51.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. Cowen increased their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $47.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $45.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, May 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Applied Materials from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $52.57.

Shares of NASDAQ AMAT opened at $39.94 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $39.18 billion, a PE ratio of 8.98, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.66. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 1.77 and a current ratio of 2.79. Applied Materials, Inc. has a 1 year low of $28.79 and a 1 year high of $53.23.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the 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 company’s revenue for the quarter was down 22.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.22 EPS. Analysts expect that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 2.98 EPS for the current 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 paid a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 22nd. This is a positive change from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 17.98%.

In related news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.45, for a total value of $84,900.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Omkaram Nalamasu sold 143,255 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.73, for a total transaction of $5,834,776.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 170,255 shares of company stock worth $6,987,176 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.44% of the company’s stock.

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Applied Materials Company Profile

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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