B. Riley upgraded shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. B. Riley currently has $54.00 target price on the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock, up from their previous target price of $46.00. B. Riley also issued estimates for Applied Materials’ Q1 2021 earnings at $0.91 EPS.

AMAT has been the subject of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub downgraded Applied Materials from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Susquehanna Bancshares upgraded Applied Materials from a neutral rating to a positive rating and lifted their price target for the company from $34.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Wednesday, May 15th. ValuEngine downgraded Applied Materials from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Stifel Nicolaus dropped their price target on Applied Materials from $63.00 to $53.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Monday, February 11th. Finally, Argus reiterated a buy rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Applied Materials presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $52.95.

Shares of AMAT opened at $40.35 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $40.54 billion, a PE ratio of 9.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 1.66. The company has a quick ratio of 1.74, a current ratio of 2.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65. Applied Materials has a 12-month low of $28.79 and a 12-month high of $53.23.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $3.54 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.48 billion. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 49.38% and a net margin of 22.10%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 22.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.22 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Applied Materials will post 2.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 13th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 23rd will be given a $0.21 dividend. This is an increase from Applied Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 22nd. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.08%. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is presently 17.98%.

In other Applied Materials news, SVP Steve G. Ghanayem sold 25,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.70, for a total value of $1,067,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 2,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.45, for a total value of $84,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 170,255 shares of company stock valued at $6,987,176 in the last 90 days. 0.44% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AMAT. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Applied Materials in the 4th quarter worth approximately $407,503,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in Applied Materials by 3,039.6% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 8,203,498 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $251,000 after purchasing an additional 7,942,210 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in Applied Materials by 52.1% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 22,370,392 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $732,406,000 after purchasing an additional 7,664,767 shares during the period. Parnassus Investments CA increased its stake in Applied Materials by 139.3% in the 4th quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 6,700,000 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $219,358,000 after purchasing an additional 3,900,000 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Applied Materials by 13.6% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 23,108,959 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $756,588,000 after purchasing an additional 2,772,739 shares during the period. 78.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Applied Materials Company Profile

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries. It operates through three segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, and Display and Adjacent Markets. The Semiconductor Systems segment develops, manufactures, and sells various manufacturing equipment that is used to fabricate semiconductor chips or integrated circuits.

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Analyst Recommendations for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

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