Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) reached a new 52-week high on Thursday . The company traded as high as $30.29 and last traded at $30.27, with a volume of 6,214,043 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $29.84.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on AMAT. B. Riley restated a “buy” rating and issued a $27.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, July 5th. Pacific Crest restated a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday, May 22nd. Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday, May 22nd. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on Applied Materials from $24.00 to $28.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, May 27th. Finally, Summit Redstone restated a “buy” rating on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Applied Materials currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $30.11.

The firm has a market capitalization of $32.80 billion and a P/E ratio of 23.89. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $27.54 and its 200 day moving average is $23.02.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 25th will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.32%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 23rd.

In other news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.00, for a total transaction of $150,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 35,504 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.95, for a total transaction of $850,320.80. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 531,195 shares in the company, valued at $12,722,120.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Applied Materials stock. BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 27.1% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 1,129,528 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock after buying an additional 240,845 shares during the period. BlackRock Advisors LLC owned about 0.10% of Applied Materials worth $21,088,000 at the end of the most recent 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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