Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $30.29 and last traded at $30.27, with a volume of 6,214,043 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $29.84.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on AMAT shares. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Wednesday, August 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised Applied Materials from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $34.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. S&P Equity Research set a $31.00 price target on Applied Materials and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, August 21st. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed 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, August 21st. Finally, B. Riley reaffirmed an “amat ($29.20” rating and issued a $39.00 price target on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Sunday, August 21st. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $30.11.

The firm has a market cap of $32.51 billion and a P/E ratio of 23.68. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $27.65 and its 200-day moving average price is $23.07.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last issued 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 prior year, the firm earned $0.33 earnings per share. The company had revenue of $2.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.84 billion. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Applied Materials Inc. will post $1.75 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 25th will be paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 23rd. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.33%.

In other Applied Materials news, VP Ali Salehpour sold 17,752 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.89, for a total value of $424,095.28. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 531,195 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,690,248.55. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Omkaram Nalamasu sold 26,035 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.15, for a total transaction of $784,955.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Applied Materials stock. BlackRock Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) by 27.1% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 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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