Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) was upgraded by investment analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $54.00 price objective on the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock. Credit Suisse Group AG’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 22.50% from the company’s previous close.

AMAT has been the topic of a number of other reports. Bank of America Corp set a $40.00 target price on shares of Applied Materials and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 14th. Needham & Company LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Friday, February 24th. Vetr upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $42.81 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price (up from $34.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Wednesday, February 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 17th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company. Applied Materials presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $41.17.

Analyst Recommendations for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

Shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) opened at 44.08 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $40.74 and a 200 day moving average of $35.68. Applied Materials has a 12-month low of $22.17 and a 12-month high of $45.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $47.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.67 and a beta of 1.81. Applied Materials also was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Investors purchased 19,944 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 555% compared to the typical daily volume of 3,043 put options.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.76 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $3.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.54 billion. Applied Materials had a net margin of 15.90% and a return on equity of 28.09%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 44.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.34 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Applied Materials will post $2.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 25th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 23rd. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 25.64%.

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A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Appleton Partners Inc. MA purchased a new position in Applied Materials during the fourth quarter valued at about $620,000. ING Groep increased its position in Applied Materials by 5.5% in the third quarter. ING Groep now owns 754,224 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $11,064,000 after buying an additional 39,262 shares during the period. Gerstein Fisher increased its position in Applied Materials by 6.3% in the third quarter. Gerstein Fisher now owns 24,240 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $356,000 after buying an additional 1,435 shares during the period. Ken Stern & Associates increased its position in Applied Materials by 19.4% in the third quarter. Ken Stern & Associates now owns 21,059 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $309,000 after buying an additional 3,415 shares during the period. Finally, Eagle Asset Management increased its position in Applied Materials by 91.0% in the third quarter. Eagle Asset Management now owns 10,425,448 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $153,148,000 after buying an additional 4,966,673 shares during the period. 82.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Applied Materials

12 Month Chart for NASDAQ:AMAT

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