Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reissued by Pacific Crest in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG increased their target price on shares of Applied Materials from $26.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. Citigroup Inc. increased their target price on shares of Applied Materials from $31.00 to $32.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 19th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 target price on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on shares of Applied Materials from $28.00 to $35.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 15th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 target price (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday, August 21st. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $30.72.

Analyst Recommendations for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

Shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) traded down 0.56% during trading on Thursday, hitting $30.40. 6,502,346 shares of the stock traded hands. Applied Materials has a 12 month low of $14.29 and a 12 month high of $31.07. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $28.85 and a 200 day moving average price of $24.11. The firm has a market cap of $32.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.97 and a beta of 1.79.

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Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $2.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.84 billion. Applied Materials had a net margin of 14.62% and a return on equity of 22.37%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.33 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Applied Materials will post $1.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 22nd. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.31%. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is 31.25%.

In other news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.00, for a total transaction of $150,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 35,505 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.06, for a total transaction of $854,250.30. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 495,691 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,926,325.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AMAT. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. boosted its position in Applied Materials by 133.3% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 4,232 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 2,418 shares during the last quarter. TLP Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the second quarter valued at about $105,000. Clean Yield Group raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 16.5% in the second quarter. Clean Yield Group now owns 4,950 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $119,000 after buying an additional 700 shares during the period. First PREMIER Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the second quarter valued at about $120,000. Finally, NEXT Financial Group Inc raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 406.1% in the second quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 6,605 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 5,300 shares during the period. 82.20% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc (Applied) provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the semiconductor, display, solar photovoltaic (PV) and related industries across the world. The Company operates in four segments: Silicon Systems, Applied Global Services, Display, and Energy and Environmental Solutions.

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