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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Applied Materials ( AMAT) pushed the Electronics industry lower today making it today's featured Electronics laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Applied Materials fell $0.51 (-3.0%) to $16.61 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 24,726,897 shares of Applied Materials exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12,625,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $16.46-$17.11 after having opened the day at $17.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.12. Other companies within the Electronics industry that declined today were: Methode Electronics ( MEI), down 10.5%, GigOptix ( GIG), down 10.3%, SL Industries ( SLI), down 7.0% and Netlist ( NLST), down 6.4%.

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 $20.6 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 81.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 49.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Applied Materials a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Applied Materials as a buy. 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 expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Plug Power ( PLUG), up 60.6%, Amtech Systems ( ASYS), up 7.1%, Himax Technologies ( HIMX), up 6.5% and Wells-Gardner Electronic ( WGA), up 5.9% , were all gainers within the electronics industry with First Solar ( FSLR) being today's featured electronics industry leader.

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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