Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) Upgraded by DA Davidson to “Buy”

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

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on AMAT. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $72.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $67.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, December 20th. Bank of America upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, January 10th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 7th. Finally, B. Riley began coverage on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Friday, November 15th. They set a buy rating and a $71.00 price objective for the company. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and nineteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $71.04.

Shares of AMAT traded down $0.52 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $66.85. The stock had a trading volume of 8,094,968 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,525,363. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a current ratio of 2.30. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $61.78 and a 200 day moving average price of $55.12. Applied Materials has a fifty-two week low of $36.80 and a fifty-two week high of $69.44. The firm has a market capitalization of $57.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.37, a PEG ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.64.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 12th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) 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 analysts’ expectations of $4.11 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.81 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 10.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts predict that Applied Materials will post 3.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm 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 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 18th. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is 27.63%.

In other news, SVP Prabu G. Raja sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.73, for a total transaction of $3,036,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.86, for a total transaction of $188,580.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 1,053,000 shares of company stock valued at $64,335,080 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.41% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. First Republic Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 2.1% during the fourth quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 296,321 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $18,087,000 after purchasing an additional 6,001 shares in the last quarter. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 8.6% in the fourth quarter. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC now owns 50,600 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $3,089,000 after acquiring an additional 4,000 shares in the last quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 3.9% in the fourth quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 32,457 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,981,000 after acquiring an additional 1,222 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its holdings in Applied Materials by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 3,642,138 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $222,316,000 after acquiring an additional 79,493 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new stake in Applied Materials in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,927,000. 79.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

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