Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) gapped up before the market opened on Monday . The stock had previously closed at $26.32, but opened at $26.34. Applied Materials shares last traded at $26.43, with a volume of 4,680,317 shares.

AMAT has been the topic of several analyst reports. Cowen and Company lifted their price target on Applied Materials from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 30th. Vetr upgraded Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $22.02 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, April 25th. BNP Paribas upgraded Applied Materials from an “underperform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, March 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price target on Applied Materials from $21.00 to $22.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a report on Monday, April 18th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Monday, June 6th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $25.73.

The company has a market cap of $28.98 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.64. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $24.34 and its 200-day moving average price is $20.63.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 25th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.52%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 23rd.

In related news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.67, for a total value of $355,050.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 70,659 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,672,498.53. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Monday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.86, for a total value of $114,300.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 93,959 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,147,902.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have modified their holdings of AMAT. Flippin Bruce & Porter Inc. increased its position in shares of Applied Materials by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Flippin Bruce & Porter Inc. now owns 84,375 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,575,000 after buying an additional 1,500 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE increased its position in shares of Applied Materials by 12.2% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 570,593 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $10,654,000 after buying an additional 62,085 shares in the last quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp increased its position in shares of Applied Materials by 20.8% in the fourth quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp now owns 100,257 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,872,000 after buying an additional 17,278 shares in the last quarter. Zweig DiMenna Associates LLC acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter worth $11,109,000. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its position in shares of Applied Materials by 296.7% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 54,611 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,018,000 after buying an additional 40,843 shares in 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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