Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Applied Materials has outperformed the industry it belongs to in the past 12 months. The stock is currently riding on inflection-focused innovation strategy which is its primary growth driver. The company continues to witness technological advancements in semiconductor and display areas. Applied Materials is in a great position to grow sustainably and profitably based on its strong pipeline of enabling technologies, supported by expanding opportunities on the semiconductor and display fronts. 3D NAND, DRAM and patterning have led to significant market share gains. Nevertheless, high fixed cost structure and customer concentration remain concerns.”

AMAT has been the subject of several other reports. Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, December 5th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $65.00 price target for the company. UBS Group raised shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Vetr lowered shares of Applied Materials from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price target for the company. in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $71.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price target on shares of Applied Materials from $65.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $62.56.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) traded up $1.42 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $49.50. 16,286,699 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 13,437,337. Applied Materials has a 1-year low of $34.58 and a 1-year high of $60.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 3.14 and a quick ratio of 2.43. The firm has a market cap of $51,430.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.42, a PEG ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 1.72.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Applied Materials had a net margin of 23.62% and a return on equity of 41.51%. The business had revenue of $3.97 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.93 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.66 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 20.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Applied Materials will post 4.04 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Applied Materials news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $290,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Omkaram Nalamasu sold 53,466 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $2,833,698.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 312,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,218,746 over the last three months. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AMAT. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Applied Materials by 2.7% during the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 62,115 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $2,566,000 after buying an additional 1,646 shares in the last quarter. W. E. Donoghue & Co. LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the 2nd quarter worth about $2,147,000. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the 2nd quarter worth about $109,000. Eqis Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Applied Materials by 291.8% during the 3rd quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 26,177 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,364,000 after buying an additional 19,495 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Centre Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Applied Materials by 20.0% during the 3rd quarter. Centre Asset Management LLC now owns 160,800 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $8,376,000 after buying an additional 26,800 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 79.30% of the company’s stock.

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About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, display and related industries. The Company’s segments are Semiconductor Systems, which includes semiconductor capital equipment for etch, rapid thermal processing, deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, metrology and inspection, wafer packaging, and ion implantation; Applied Global Services, which provides integrated solutions to optimize equipment and fab performance and productivity; Display and Adjacent Markets, which includes products for manufacturing liquid crystal displays, organic light-emitting diodes, upgrades and roll-to-roll Web coating systems and other display technologies for televisions, personal computers, smart phones and other consumer-oriented devices, and Corporate and Other segment, which includes revenues from products, as well as costs of products sold for fabricating solar photovoltaic cells and modules, and certain operating expenses.

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