Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Applied Materials’ top-line continues to benefit from the rising demand for chips used in electronic items. The stock is currently riding on inflection-focused innovation strategy which is its primary growth driver. The company continues to witness technological advancements in semiconductor and display areas. Applied Materials is in a great position to grow sustainably and profitably based on its strong pipeline of enabling technologies, supported by expanding opportunities on the semiconductor and display fronts. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q1 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Nevertheless, high fixed cost structure and customer concentration remain concerns. Notably, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to over a year.”

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A number of other analysts have also issued reports on AMAT. UBS upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Vetr lowered shares of Applied Materials from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.08 price target for the company. in a research note on Tuesday. Needham & Company LLC upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $66.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Bank of America started coverage on shares of Applied Materials in a research note on Wednesday, March 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $80.00 price target for the company. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares upgraded shares of Applied Materials from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $60.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $64.52.

Shares of NASDAQ AMAT traded up $1.06 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $57.93. 4,670,157 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 14,423,249. Applied Materials has a twelve month low of $37.60 and a twelve month high of $62.40. The company has a current ratio of 2.96, a quick ratio of 2.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The stock has a market cap of $58,912.02, a P/E ratio of 17.82, a PEG ratio of 0.96 and a beta of 1.63.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by $0.08. Applied Materials had a net margin of 18.53% and a return on equity of 45.17%. The business had revenue of $4.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.10 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.67 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Applied Materials will post 4.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Applied Materials announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, February 14th that allows the company to buyback $6.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the manufacturing equipment provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Applied Materials news, Director Thomas J. Iannotti sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.47, for a total transaction of $922,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 76,967 shares in the company, valued at $4,731,161.49. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.35% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. bought a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter worth about $110,000. Risk Paradigm Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter worth about $110,000. SevenBridge Financial Group LLC grew its position in shares of Applied Materials by 957.8% during the fourth quarter. SevenBridge Financial Group LLC now owns 2,380 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock worth $122,000 after acquiring an additional 2,155 shares during the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter worth about $122,000. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware bought a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the fourth quarter worth about $169,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.33% of the company’s stock.

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Applied Materials Company Profile

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries worldwide. It operates through three segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, and Display and Adjacent Markets. The Semiconductor Systems segment develops, manufactures, and sells a range of manufacturing equipment used to fabricate semiconductor chips or integrated circuits.

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Analyst Recommendations for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

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