Susquehanna Bancshares Upgrades Applied Materials (AMAT) to Positive

Susquehanna Bancshares upgraded shares of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) from a neutral rating to a positive rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. Susquehanna Bancshares currently has $72.00 price objective on the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $60.00.

A number of other research firms also recently commented on AMAT. Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on shares of Applied Materials in a report on Tuesday, December 5th. They issued an outperform rating and a $65.00 price objective for the company. Vetr downgraded shares of Applied Materials from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $62.50 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, January 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Applied Materials from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $59.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, December 15th. Bank of America lifted their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $65.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on shares of Applied Materials from $62.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $62.74.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ AMAT) traded up $2.84 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $57.34. 17,920,000 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,890,000. Applied Materials has a twelve month low of $33.09 and a twelve month high of $60.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 3.14 and a quick ratio of 2.43. The firm has a market capitalization of $60,570.00, a P/E ratio of 18.09, a P/E/G ratio of 1.05 and a beta of 1.81.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. Applied Materials had a net margin of 23.62% and a return on equity of 41.51%. The business had revenue of $3.97 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.93 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.66 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 20.4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Applied Materials will post 4.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 14th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 20th. Applied Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 12.62%.

In other news, Director Stephen R. Forrest sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $290,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Ali Salehpour sold 125,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.47, for a total transaction of $6,440,183.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 312,716 shares of company stock valued at $16,218,746. Corporate insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the third quarter valued at about $105,000. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Applied Materials during the second quarter valued at about $109,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 281.5% during the third quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 2,575 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $134,000 after purchasing an additional 1,900 shares in the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 349.1% during the third quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,636 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after purchasing an additional 2,049 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mosaic Family Wealth LLC raised its stake in shares of Applied Materials by 56.1% during the third quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC now owns 2,737 shares of the manufacturing equipment provider’s stock valued at $142,000 after purchasing an additional 984 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.77% of the company’s stock.

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About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, display and related industries. The Company’s segments are Semiconductor Systems, which includes semiconductor capital equipment for etch, rapid thermal processing, deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, metrology and inspection, wafer packaging, and ion implantation; Applied Global Services, which provides integrated solutions to optimize equipment and fab performance and productivity; Display and Adjacent Markets, which includes products for manufacturing liquid crystal displays, organic light-emitting diodes, upgrades and roll-to-roll Web coating systems and other display technologies for televisions, personal computers, smart phones and other consumer-oriented devices, and Corporate and Other segment, which includes revenues from products, as well as costs of products sold for fabricating solar photovoltaic cells and modules, and certain operating expenses.

Analyst Recommendations for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

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