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

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 higher today making it today's featured electronics winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Applied Materials rose $0.19 (1.0%) to $18.96 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 22,025,051 shares of Applied Materials exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10,985,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $18.49-$19.09 after having opened the day at $18.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.77. Other companies within the Electronics industry that increased today were: Qualstar Corporation ( QBAK), up 35.6%, Giga-tronics ( GIGA), up 18.8%, Applied Optoelectronics ( AAOI), up 11.6% and Sevcon ( SEV), up 9.7%.

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 $21.6 billion and is part of the technology sector. Shares are up 6.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Applied Materials a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 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 negative front, Espey Manufacturing & Electronics ( ESP), down 10.5%, Cognex Corporation ( CGNX), down 8.2%, Tel Instrument Electronics Corporation ( TIK), down 8.2% and Control4 ( CTRL), down 6.9% , were all laggards within the electronics industry with Agilent Technologies ( A) being today's electronics industry laggard.

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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