UBS Group upgraded shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) from a neutral rating to a positive rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, The Fly reports.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Applied Materials from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Vetr downgraded shares of Applied Materials from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $62.50 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Needham & Company LLC raised shares of Applied Materials from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $66.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Applied Materials from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $59.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co assumed coverage on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. They issued an outperform rating and a $65.00 target price for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $62.74.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) traded up $2.84 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $57.34. 17,920,000 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,890,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 2.43 and a current ratio of 3.14. Applied Materials has a fifty-two week low of $33.09 and a fifty-two week high of $60.89. The company has a market cap of $60,570.00, a P/E ratio of 18.09, a PEG ratio of 1.05 and a beta of 1.81.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 the consensus estimate of $3.93 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.66 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 20.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Applied Materials will post 4.04 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 14th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.70%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 20th. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is 12.62%.

In related news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.47, for a total value of $6,440,183.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $290,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 312,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,218,746 in the last ninety days. 0.31% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AMAT. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in Applied Materials by 390.4% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 11,446,282 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $472,835,000 after buying an additional 9,112,328 shares during the period. Egerton Capital UK LLP boosted its holdings in Applied Materials by 23.2% in the 3rd quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 16,919,928 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $881,359,000 after buying an additional 3,184,994 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its holdings in Applied Materials by 14.8% in the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 17,724,836 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $732,213,000 after buying an additional 2,284,836 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its holdings in Applied Materials by 108.7% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 3,690,615 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $152,459,000 after buying an additional 1,922,233 shares during the period. Finally, First Eagle Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Applied Materials in the 3rd quarter worth $97,804,000. 79.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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Analyst Recommendations for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

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