Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT): Today's Featured Technology Laggard

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

Applied Materials ( AMAT) pushed the Technology sector lower today making it today's featured Technology laggard. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Applied Materials fell $0.28 (-1.9%) to $14.69 on light volume. Throughout the day, 8,359,346 shares of Applied Materials exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12,568,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.68-$14.95 after having opened the day at $14.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.97. Other companies within the Technology sector that declined today were: Astea International ( ATEA), down 11.0%, Friendfinder Networks ( FFN), down 10.3%, DragonWave ( DRWI), down 10.0% and TigerLogic Corporation ( TIGR), down 9.6%.
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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 $17.9 billion and is part of the electronics industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 497.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 30.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Applied Materials a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 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 solid stock price performance, 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.

On the positive front, Pointer Telocation ( PNTR), down 46.9%, Sky-mobi ( MOBI), down 43.3%, SolarCity ( SCTY), down 24.2% and China Information Technology ( CNIT), down 19.9% , were all gainers within the technology sector with Marvell Technology Group ( MRVL) being today's featured technology sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the technology sector could consider Technology Select Sector SPDR ( XLK) while those bearish on the technology sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Technology ( REW).

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