Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT)’s share price reached a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $24.97 and last traded at $24.87, with a volume of 7,706,522 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $24.29.

AMAT has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Vetr upgraded Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $21.26 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, March 14th. Royal Bank Of Canada initiated coverage on Applied Materials in a research note on Wednesday, March 16th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $21.00 price objective on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Saturday, March 19th. Cowen and Company upped their price objective on Applied Materials from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 30th. Finally, BNP Paribas upgraded Applied Materials from an “underperform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Applied Materials presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $25.30.

The company has a market capitalization of $27.15 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.08. The company has a 50 day moving average of $23.85 and a 200 day moving average of $20.27.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 19th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.32 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $2.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.42 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.29 earnings per share. Applied Materials’s revenue was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Applied Materials Inc. will post $1.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 25th 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 1.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 23rd.

In other Applied Materials news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.67, for a total transaction of $355,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 70,659 shares in the company, valued at $1,672,498.53. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 40,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.37, for a total transaction of $974,800.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 548,947 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,377,838.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the company. Holderness Investments Co. boosted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Holderness Investments Co. now owns 87,415 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,632,000 after buying an additional 410 shares during the period. Tredje AP fonden boosted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 78,651 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,468,000 after buying an additional 1,295 shares during the period. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc boosted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc now owns 104,376 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,949,000 after buying an additional 3,230 shares during the period. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. boosted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 158,670 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $2,962,000 after buying an additional 4,773 shares during the period. Finally, Synovus Financial Corp boosted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 102,596 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,915,000 after buying an additional 6,241 shares during the period.

Applied Materials, Inc (Applied) provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the semiconductor, display, solar photovoltaic (PV) and related industries across the world. The Company operates in four segments: Silicon Systems, Applied Global Services, Display, and Energy and Environmental Solutions.

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