Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $26.24 and last traded at $25.94, with a volume of 6,617,131 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $25.91.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on AMAT shares. BNP Paribas raised their price objective on Applied Materials to $28.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 1st. Vetr lowered Applied Materials from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. Needham & Company LLC raised their price objective on Applied Materials from $26.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Nomura reissued a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price objective on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, DA Davidson lowered Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $23.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, April 6th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-three have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Applied Materials currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $25.73.

The firm has a market capitalization of $28.69 billion and a PE ratio of 24.39. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $24.22 and a 200 day moving average price of $20.51.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 19th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $2.45 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.42 billion. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.29 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Applied Materials Inc. will post $1.53 EPS for the current year.

The firm 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. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 23rd. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.52%.

In other Applied Materials news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 40,000 shares of the business’s 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 directly owns 548,947 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,377,838.39. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.86, for a total transaction of $114,300.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 93,959 shares in the company, valued at $2,147,902.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Tredje AP fonden boosted its stake 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 last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 37.6% in the fourth quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 1,265,761 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $23,632,000 after buying an additional 345,990 shares during the last quarter. Sawtooth Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 228,503.5% in the fourth quarter. Sawtooth Asset Management Inc. now owns 194,313 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $3,628,000 after buying an additional 194,228 shares during the last quarter. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 43.4% in the fourth quarter. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp now owns 317,851 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $5,934,000 after buying an additional 96,196 shares during the last quarter. Finally, South Dakota Investment Council boosted its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 26.3% in the fourth quarter. South Dakota Investment Council now owns 121,200 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $2,263,000 after buying an additional 25,200 shares during the last quarter.

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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