Applied Materials Bumps Up Quarterly Dividend By 9%; Street Says Buy

Applied Materials raised its quarterly cash dividend by 9% to $0.24 per share. Shares of the semiconductor manufacturing company declined 2.5% to close at $114.29 on March 12.

Applied Materials (AMAT) announced that the new dividend will be paid on June 17 to shareholders of record as of May 27. This marks the fourth consecutive annual dividend increase by the company.

The company’s annual dividend of $0.96 per share now reflects a dividend yield of 0.84%.

Applied Materials CEO Gary Dickerson said, “The dividend increase reflects the strength of our financial position, which enables us to fuel innovation and provide attractive cash returns to shareholders.” (See Applied Materials stock analysis on TipRanks)

On Feb. 19, Credit Suisse analyst John Pitzer increased the stock’s price target to $145 (27% upside potential) from $120 and reiterated a Buy rating.

In a note to investors, Pitzer said, “Q1 results were well above consensus and sees no reason the multiple can’t expand 10 turns from here.”

Applied Materials shares have exploded 182% over the past year, while the stock still scores a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 19 Buys versus 3 Holds. That’s alongside an average analyst price target of $133.95, which implies 17.2% upside potential to current levels.

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