Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT)’s share price shot up 3% during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $30.15 and last traded at $30.02, with a volume of 12,198,256 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $29.15.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on AMAT. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Wednesday. S&P Equity Research set a $31.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday. Needham & Company LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 price target (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday. B. Riley reiterated an “amat ($29.20” rating and issued a $39.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $34.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $30.11.

The stock has a market cap of $32.17 billion and a P/E ratio of 23.42. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $26.70 and its 200-day moving average price is $22.47.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.02. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.33 EPS. The company had revenue of $2.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.84 billion. Applied Materials’s quarterly revenue was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Applied Materials Inc. will post $1.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced 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 of this dividend is Tuesday, August 23rd. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.35%.

In other news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 17,752 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.89, for a total value of $424,095.28. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 531,195 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,690,248.55. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

Other institutional investors have modified their holdings of the company. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. increased its position in shares of Applied Materials by 191.3% in the fourth quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 178,300 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $3,329,000 after buying an additional 117,100 shares in the last quarter. Calvert Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC increased 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 worth $21,088,000 after buying an additional 240,845 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP increased 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 worth $34,368,000 after buying an additional 361,685 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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