NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) are higher by 1.51% to $22.83 in mid-morning trading on Thursday, following a ratings upgrade to "outperform" from "neutral" at Credit Suisse.
The firm said it raised its rating on the provider of equipment manufacturing services, and software solutions to global customers in the semiconductor and related industries, based on its better than expected first half 2015 WFE, and its multiple expansion, the flyonthewall.com reports.
Credit Suisse raised its price target on Applied Materials stock to $26 from $22.STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.
Additionally, Applied Materials is scheduled to release its 2014 fourth quarter earnings results after the market close today, and analysts are expecting the company to post earnings per share of 27 cents, on revenue of $2.27 billion.
For the 2013 fourth quarter the company reported non-GAAP earnings of 19 cents per share, on net sales of $1.99 billion.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLIED MATERIALS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate APPLIED MATERIALS INC (AMAT) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 71.42% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 26.06% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, AMAT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- APPLIED MATERIALS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, APPLIED MATERIALS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.21 versus $0.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.06 versus $0.21).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income increased by 79.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $168.00 million to $301.00 million.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 18.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- AMAT's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, AMAT has a quick ratio of 1.63, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: AMAT Ratings Report