Shares of Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $30.16 and last traded at $29.88, with a volume of 6,984,518 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $29.65.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on AMAT shares. Nomura reissued a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price objective (up previously from $25.00) on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Thursday, June 23rd. Vetr cut Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $25.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Citigroup Inc. raised Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $23.49 to $25.48 in a research report on Wednesday, May 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $26.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 24th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a research report on Sunday, May 22nd. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $30.11.

The firm has a market cap of $32.41 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.60. The company has a 50-day moving average of $26.86 and a 200 day moving average of $22.52.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 18th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.02. The firm earned $2.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.84 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.33 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Applied Materials Inc. will post $1.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal 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 $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 23rd. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.35%.

In related news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 40,000 shares of the firm’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 sale, the vice president now directly owns 548,947 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,377,838.39. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.00, for a total transaction of $150,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of AMAT. Calvert Investment Management Inc. increased its stake 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 valued at $1,066,000 after buying an additional 15,251 shares during the period. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. increased its stake 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 valued at $3,329,000 after buying an additional 117,100 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its stake 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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