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Applied Materials Inc. Stock Hold Recommendation Reiterated (AMAT)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Applied Materials (Nasdaq:AMAT) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+ . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Compared to its price level of one year ago, AMAT is up 5.19% to its most recent closing price of 13.57. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals should not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • Although AMAT's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.46, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 43.80% is the gross profit margin for APPLIED MATERIALS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, AMAT's net profit margin of 2.16% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, APPLIED MATERIALS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $16.00 million or 91.16% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

Applied Materials, Inc. provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV), and related industries worldwide. Applied has a market cap of $15.89 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 441.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Applied Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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