Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $99.49 and last traded at $98.50, with a volume of 23843 shares. The stock had previously closed at $97.96.

AMAT has been the subject of several research reports. Argus raised their target price on Applied Materials from $90.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 7th. Barclays raised their target price on Applied Materials from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 13th. DA Davidson raised their target price on Applied Materials from $78.00 to $90.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 5th. Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on Applied Materials from $85.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, November 13th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Applied Materials from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 6th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $87.46.

The company has a market capitalization of $89.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 1.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 3.00 and a quick ratio of 2.12. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $87.78 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $69.31.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, November 17th. The manufacturing equipment provider reported $1.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $4.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.60 billion. Applied Materials had a return on equity of 40.65% and a net margin of 21.04%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.80 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts forecast that Applied Materials, Inc. will post 4.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 18th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 25th will be given a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 24th. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.90%. Applied Materials’s payout ratio is 21.10%.

In related news, SVP Omkaram Nalamasu sold 800 shares of Applied Materials stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.50, for a total value of $69,200.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AMAT. Benjamin Edwards Inc. acquired a new stake in Applied Materials in the third quarter worth about $25,000. Norway Savings Bank acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the 3rd quarter worth about $30,000. Paces Ferry Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the 3rd quarter worth about $31,000. Sun Life Financial INC acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the 3rd quarter worth about $32,000. Finally, Northwest Investment Counselors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Applied Materials during the 3rd quarter worth about $35,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.80% of the company’s stock.

About Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

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

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