Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

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Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 19,165,400 shares, an increase of 9.2% from the June 30th total of 17,552,600 shares. Approximately 2.0% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 9,790,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.0 days.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AMAT. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Applied Materials by 2,914.1% during the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 11,359,951 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $510,176,000 after acquiring an additional 10,983,055 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. grew its position in Applied Materials by 72.2% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 25,611,081 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,150,193,000 after purchasing an additional 10,735,173 shares in the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD grew its position in Applied Materials by 34.2% in the second quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 28,351,337 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,273,259,000 after purchasing an additional 7,230,052 shares in the last quarter. Generation Investment Management LLP bought a new position in Applied Materials in the second quarter valued at $204,994,000. Finally, FMR LLC grew its position in Applied Materials by 16.3% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 26,027,352 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,032,245,000 after purchasing an additional 3,656,960 shares in the last quarter. 77.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

AMAT has been the topic of several analyst reports. Bank of America reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $52.00 target price (up from $45.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Friday, May 17th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Thursday, June 20th. Susquehanna Bancshares upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $34.00 to $60.00 in a report on Wednesday, May 15th. B. Riley upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $46.00 to $54.00 in a report on Friday, May 17th. Finally, Nomura initiated coverage on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Friday, June 7th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $40.00 target price on the stock. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Applied Materials currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $51.00.

Shares of AMAT stock opened at $47.16 on Friday. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $47.06 and a 200-day moving average of $42.49. 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 has a 12-month low of $28.79 and a 12-month high of $52.42. The company has a market capitalization of $44.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.60, a P/E/G ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 1.68.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 15th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. Applied Materials had a net margin of 22.10% and a return on equity of 47.88%. The company had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.53 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.20 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 14.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Applied Materials will post 2.96 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 21st. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is 18.88%.

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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