Equities researchers at Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) in a research note issued on Wednesday. The brokerage set a “buy” rating and a $80.00 price target on the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock. Bank of America’s target price indicates a potential upside of 35.69% from the stock’s current price.
A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. Vetr upgraded Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $66.16 price target for the company in a research report on Monday. BidaskClub upgraded Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Credit Suisse Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $75.00 price target (up previously from $74.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Monday, February 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, February 19th. Finally, Deutsche Bank increased their price objective on Applied Materials from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Twenty-five investment analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $64.41.
AMAT stock opened at $58.96 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 2.96 and a quick ratio of 2.25. Applied Materials has a 1 year low of $37.41 and a 1 year high of $62.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $63,860.75, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.25, a P/E/G ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.58.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.08. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 45.17% and a net margin of 18.53%. The business had revenue of $4.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.10 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.67 EPS. research analysts expect that Applied Materials will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Applied Materials announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, February 14th that permits the company to buyback $6.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the manufacturing equipment provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.47, for a total transaction of $922,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 76,967 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,731,161.49. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.47, for a total value of $6,440,183.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 322,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,850,796 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 68,889,949 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $3,521,655,000 after acquiring an additional 1,248,388 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,968,458 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $661,743,000 after acquiring an additional 234,528 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 5.7% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,097,037 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $630,146,000 after acquiring an additional 650,755 shares in the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 10.2% in the 4th quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 11,121,032 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $568,507,000 after acquiring an additional 1,033,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 10,859,674 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $565,681,000 after acquiring an additional 235,793 shares in the last quarter. 79.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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About Applied Materials
Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries worldwide. It operates through three segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, and Display and Adjacent Markets. The Semiconductor Systems segment develops, manufactures, and sells a range of manufacturing equipment used to fabricate semiconductor chips or integrated circuits.
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