Applied Materials (AMAT) Is Today's Unusual Social Activity Stock

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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Applied Materials ( AMAT) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Applied Materials as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • AMAT has 14x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 2.56 mentions/day.
  • AMAT has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $152.0 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on AMAT:

Applied Materials, Inc. provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV), and related industries worldwide. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.3%. AMAT has a PE ratio of 82.5. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Applied Materials a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Applied Materials has been 10.0 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Applied has a market cap of $20.9 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. The stock has a beta of 1.84 and a short float of 3.4% with 4.75 days to cover. Shares are down 0.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Applied Materials as a hold. 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 and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 1.45, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 135.71% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 48.97% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, APPLIED MATERIALS INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $19.00 million or 95.37% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.
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