Applied Materials (AMAT) Rating Increased to Strong-Buy at Needham & Company LLC

Needham & Company LLC upgraded shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note published on Monday, January 8th, Marketbeat.com reports. Needham & Company LLC currently has $72.00 target price on the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock, up from their prior target price of $66.00.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on AMAT. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Applied Materials from a neutral rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the company from $49.00 to $52.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Morgan Stanley restated an overweight rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Vetr cut Applied Materials from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $47.76 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, September 15th. KeyCorp restated an outperform rating and set a $57.00 target price on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Saturday, September 16th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada upgraded Applied Materials from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and raised their target price for the company from $48.00 to $55.00 in a report on Sunday, September 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $62.56.

Shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ AMAT) traded down $2.60 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $50.68. The company had a trading volume of 16,598,737 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,200,000. The company has a quick ratio of 2.43, a current ratio of 3.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. The firm has a market cap of $50,790.00, a P/E ratio of 15.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 1.72. Applied Materials has a 1 year low of $34.58 and a 1 year high of $60.89.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $3.97 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.93 billion. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 41.51% and a net margin of 23.62%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 20.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.66 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Applied Materials will post 4.04 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 14th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 20th. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is 12.62%.

In related news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.47, for a total transaction of $6,440,183.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 4,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 3rd. The stock was 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 90 days, insiders have sold 312,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,218,746. 0.35% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC acquired a new position in Applied Materials during the third quarter worth approximately $105,000. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC acquired a new position in Applied Materials during the second quarter worth approximately $109,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Applied Materials during the fourth quarter worth approximately $122,000. Wunderlich Capital Managemnt increased its position in Applied Materials by 2.9% during the second quarter. Wunderlich Capital Managemnt now owns 3,037 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 87 shares during the period. Finally, Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. acquired a new position in Applied Materials during the second quarter worth approximately $134,000. 79.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Applied Materials Company Profile

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, display and related industries. The Company’s segments are Semiconductor Systems, which includes semiconductor capital equipment for etch, rapid thermal processing, deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, metrology and inspection, wafer packaging, and ion implantation; Applied Global Services, which provides integrated solutions to optimize equipment and fab performance and productivity; Display and Adjacent Markets, which includes products for manufacturing liquid crystal displays, organic light-emitting diodes, upgrades and roll-to-roll Web coating systems and other display technologies for televisions, personal computers, smart phones and other consumer-oriented devices, and Corporate and Other segment, which includes revenues from products, as well as costs of products sold for fabricating solar photovoltaic cells and modules, and certain operating expenses.

Analyst Recommendations for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

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