NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Applied Materials Inc (AMAT) - Get Report were getting a boost, up 2% to $20.36 in early market trading Wednesday, after analysts at Goldman Sachs added the company to its "Conviction Buy List" this morning.

The firm upgraded the company to "conviction buy" from "buy" and issued a $24 price target, citing an accelerating 3D NAND product cycle as well as the company's increased focus on its core business.

Goldman analysts believe the July SEMICON meeting will be a catalyst for Applied Materials shares.

Applied Materials provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic and related industries.

The company is based in Santa Clara, Calif.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLIED MATERIALS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate APPLIED MATERIALS INC (AMAT) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and reasonable valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • AMAT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • AMAT's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.23 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, AMAT has a quick ratio of 1.87, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • APPLIED MATERIALS INC has improved earnings per share by 38.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, APPLIED MATERIALS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.87 versus $0.21 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.22 versus $0.87).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income increased by 38.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $262.00 million to $364.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AMAT Ratings Report