Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $27.22 and last traded at $27.00, with a volume of 5,290,223 shares. The stock had previously closed at $26.82.

A number of research firms have recently commented on AMAT. B. Riley reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $19.50 target price on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Saturday, May 21st. Morgan Stanley reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Sunday, May 22nd. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday, May 22nd. Pacific Crest reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday, May 22nd. Finally, Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday, May 22nd. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $26.67.

The firm’s 50-day moving average is $25.55 and its 200-day moving average is $21.71. The stock has a market capitalization of $29.39 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.98.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 25th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 23rd. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.49%.

In other news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.67, for a total value of $355,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 70,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,672,498.53. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, 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 value of $974,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 548,947 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,377,838.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other institutional investors recently modified their holdings of the company. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK boosted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 16.7% in the fourth quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK now owns 281,412 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $4,562,000 after buying an additional 40,350 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 valued at $2,962,000 after buying an additional 4,773 shares during the period. Flippin Bruce & Porter Inc. boosted 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 valued at $1,575,000 after buying an additional 1,500 shares during the period. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP boosted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 24.5% in the fourth quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 1,840,815 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $34,368,000 after buying an additional 361,685 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Applied Materials by 27.1% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 1,129,528 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $21,088,000 after buying an additional 240,845 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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