Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT): Today's Featured Electronics Winner

Applied Materials ( AMAT) pushed the Electronics industry higher today making it today's featured electronics winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 2.2%. By the end of trading, Applied Materials rose 30 cents (2.8%) to $11.22 on light volume. Throughout the day, 8.2 million shares of Applied Materials exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $11-$11.25 after having opened the day at $11.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.92. Other companies within the Electronics industry that increased today were: Nexxus Lighting ( NEXS), up 36%, MaxLinear ( MXL), up 22.2%, Spire Corporation ( SPIR), up 17.6%, and MTS Systems Corporation ( MTSC), up 15.1%.

Applied Materials, Inc. provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV), and related industries worldwide. Applied Materials has a market cap of $14 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.8, above the average electronics industry P/E ratio of 10.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Applied Materials a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Applied Materials as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels 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.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the electronics industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Technology ( IYW) while those bearish on the electronics industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Semiconductor ( SSG).
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