Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) Raised to “Buy” at DA Davidson

DA Davidson upgraded shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday morning, Briefing.com Automated Import reports. They currently have $76.00 price objective on the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock.

Several other research firms have also recently commented on AMAT. KeyCorp lifted their price target on Applied Materials from $54.00 to $70.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, November 15th. ValuEngine downgraded Applied Materials from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, January 3rd. Needham & Company LLC restated a buy rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Tuesday, January 21st. UBS Group downgraded Applied Materials from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 27th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares restated a buy rating and set a $80.00 price objective (up from $70.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Friday, November 15th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Applied Materials has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $71.04.

Shares of NASDAQ:AMAT traded down $0.52 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $66.85. 8,094,968 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,525,363. The stock has a market cap of $57.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.37, a PEG ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.64. The company has a current ratio of 2.30, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. Applied Materials has a twelve month low of $36.80 and a twelve month high of $69.44. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $61.78 and a 200-day moving average price of $55.12.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 12th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.06. Applied Materials had a net margin of 18.52% and a return on equity of 35.13%. The firm had revenue of $4.16 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.11 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.81 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Applied Materials will post 3.82 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 11th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 18th. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio is 27.63%.

In related news, CEO Gary E. Dickerson sold 1,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.11, for a total value of $61,110,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.86, for a total value of $188,580.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 1,053,000 shares of company stock valued at $64,335,080. 0.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AMAT. Crewe Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth about $27,000. Altshuler Shaham Ltd increased its position in Applied Materials by 7,516.7% in the 4th quarter. Altshuler Shaham Ltd now owns 457 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $28,000 after purchasing an additional 451 shares during the last quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC acquired a new position in Applied Materials in the 3rd quarter worth about $29,000. Raab & Moskowitz Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth about $29,000. Finally, Cedar Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth about $34,000. 79.81% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

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