Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) shares reached a new 52-week high during mid-day 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 changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $26.82.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on AMAT shares. Credit Suisse Group AG lifted their target price on shares of Applied Materials from $26.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. Vetr cut shares of Applied Materials from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Needham & Company LLC boosted their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $26.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Finally, Nomura restated a “buy” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $26.67.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $25.62 and its 200 day moving average price is $21.79. The stock has a market cap of $29.60 billion and a P/E ratio of 25.17.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 19th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.32 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $2.45 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.42 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.29 EPS. Applied Materials’s quarterly revenue was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Applied Materials Inc. will post $1.54 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 25th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.47%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 23rd.

In related news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 40,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Friday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.37, for a total transaction of $974,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 548,947 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,377,838.39. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction on Monday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.86, for a total transaction of $114,300.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 93,959 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,147,902.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Gyroscope Capital Management Group LLC increased its position in shares of Applied Materials by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Gyroscope Capital Management Group LLC now owns 193,451 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $3,612,000 after buying an additional 1,700 shares in the last quarter. Calvert Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Applied Materials by 36.5% in the fourth quarter. Calvert Investment Management Inc. now owns 57,072 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,066,000 after buying an additional 15,251 shares during the last quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Applied Materials by 5.5% in the fourth quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 62,739 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $1,563,000 after buying an additional 3,266 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC boosted its stake in 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 worth $21,088,000 after buying an additional 240,845 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP boosted its stake in 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 worth $34,368,000 after buying an additional 361,685 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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