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Equities research analysts at Piper Jaffray initiated coverage on shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm set an “overweight” rating and a $27.00 price target on the stock. Piper Jaffray’s price objective points to a potential upside of 17.60% from the company’s current price.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Cowen and Company reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Tuesday. Separately, analysts at RBC Capital raised their price target on shares of Applied Materials from $18.00 to $20.00 in a research note on Tuesday. They now have a “sector perform” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday. They now have a $30.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $19.00. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have assigned a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $23.03.

In other Applied Materials news, EVP Randhir Thakur sold 70,295 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.83, for a total value of $1,604,834.85. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) traded up 0.09% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $22.98. The stock had a trading volume of 3,568,408 shares. Applied Materials has a 1-year low of $14.85 and a 1-year high of $23.46. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $21.69 and a 200-day moving average of $19.39. The company has a market cap of $27.976 billion and a P/E ratio of 32.61. Applied Materials also was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors bought 14,022 call options on the company. This is an increase of 138% compared to the typical daily volume of 5,890 call options.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its earnings data on Thursday, May 15th. The company reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.28. The company had revenue of $2.35 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.35 billion. On average, analysts predict that Applied Materials will post $1.07 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Thursday, September 11th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 21st will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 19th.

Applied Materials, Inc (NASDAQ:AMAT) provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV) and related industries.

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