Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) Hits New 1-Year High After Better-Than-Expected Earnings

Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) hit a new 52-week high on Thursday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $57.75 and last traded at $57.62, with a volume of 7978142 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $55.77.

The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Applied Materials had a net margin of 22.08% and a return on equity of 40.74%. The business had revenue of $3.97 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.93 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.66 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.4% on a year-over-year basis.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 24th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.71%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 22nd. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is 14.18%.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Monday, August 14th. B. Riley reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. BidaskClub cut shares of Applied Materials from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Cowen and Company reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.35.

In other Applied Materials news, Director Alexander Karsner sold 22,762 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.03, for a total transaction of $1,002,210.86. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Thomas F. Larkins sold 30,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.24, for a total transaction of $1,537,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.31% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. First Financial Equity Corporation purchased a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the first quarter valued at approximately $420,000. Janus Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 28.9% during the first quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 8,534,514 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $331,993,000 after purchasing an additional 1,912,105 shares during the period. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 4.9% during the first quarter. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc now owns 136,624 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $5,315,000 after purchasing an additional 6,438 shares during the period. Hutchens Investment Management Inc purchased a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,291,000. Finally, Brighton Jones LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the first quarter valued at approximately $219,000. 79.35% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The firm has a market capitalization of $61,690.00, a P/E ratio of 18.93, a PEG ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 1.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 2.25 and a current ratio of 2.91.

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