Zacks Investment Research Lowers Applied Materials (AMAT) to Sell

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Applied Materials shares have underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year. High fixed cost structure and customer concentration remain concerns. However, the company’s inflection-focused innovation strategy continued to be the primary growth driver. Further, technological advancements in semiconductor and display areas remain major positives. Additionally, robust 3D NAND, DRAM and patterning equipments are supporting the company in gaining momentum in the market. Moreover, the company remains confident on the growing investments from Chinese domestic manufacturers. We believe the emerging technologies and rising demand for Mobile OLEDs and large screen televisions will continue to drive its top-line growth.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Bank of America cut Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $65.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, August 28th. Morgan Stanley cut Applied Materials from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $58.00 to $54.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. ValuEngine cut Applied Materials from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 23rd. Citigroup cut their price target on Applied Materials from $68.00 to $57.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. Finally, Cowen upgraded Applied Materials from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the company from $60.00 to $62.00 in a report on Monday, August 6th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, thirteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $61.95.

NASDAQ:AMAT opened at $33.92 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 2.52 and a quick ratio of 1.67. Applied Materials has a 12-month low of $32.78 and a 12-month high of $62.40. The stock has a market cap of $34.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.49.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.03. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 58.23% and a net margin of 19.87%. The firm had revenue of $4.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.42 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.86 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 19.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Applied Materials will post 4.45 EPS for the current year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Kaizen Advisory LLC lifted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 147.4% in the 2nd quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 2,561 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 1,526 shares during the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 5,102.0% in the 2nd quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 2,601 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 2,551 shares during the last quarter. Private Capital Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 728.9% in the 1st quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 3,009 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $167,000 after purchasing an additional 2,646 shares during the last quarter. AdvisorNet Financial Inc lifted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 127.1% in the 2nd quarter. AdvisorNet Financial Inc now owns 3,054 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $141,000 after purchasing an additional 1,709 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $164,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.31% of the company’s stock.

Applied Materials Company 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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