Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The firm presently has a $60.00 price target on the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 5.89% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Applied Materials delivered strong fiscal first-quarter results on the back of demand for chips used in electronic items. The company has outperformed the industry it belongs to in the past 12 months. The stock is currently riding on inflection-focused innovation strategy which is its primary growth driver. The company continues to witness technological advancements in semiconductor and display areas. Applied Materials is in a great position to grow sustainably and profitably based on its strong pipeline of enabling technologies, supported by expanding opportunities on the semiconductor and display fronts. 3D NAND, DRAM and patterning have led to significant market share gains. Nevertheless, high fixed cost structure and customer concentration remain concerns.”
A number of other research firms have also issued reports on AMAT. UBS Group raised shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Needham & Company LLC boosted their target price on shares of Applied Materials to $66.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Susquehanna Bancshares raised shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $60.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. ValuEngine raised shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Deutsche Bank boosted their target price on shares of Applied Materials from $58.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-five have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $64.06.
Applied Materials (AMAT) opened at $56.66 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 2.25 and a current ratio of 2.96. The stock has a market cap of $59,690.00, a PE ratio of 15.78, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 1.72. Applied Materials has a one year low of $34.72 and a one year high of $60.89.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $4.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.10 billion. Applied Materials had a net margin of 18.53% and a return on equity of 45.17%. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.67 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Applied Materials will post 4.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Applied Materials announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, February 14th that allows the company to repurchase $6.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the manufacturing equipment provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.67, for a total value of $214,680.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 312,716 shares of company stock worth $16,218,746 over the last quarter. Insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AMAT. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the third quarter valued at approximately $105,000. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $110,000. Risk Paradigm Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $110,000. SevenBridge Financial Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Applied Materials by 957.8% during the fourth quarter. SevenBridge Financial Group LLC now owns 2,380 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $122,000 after acquiring an additional 2,155 shares during the period. Finally, Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $122,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.93% of the company’s stock.
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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.
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