Morgan Stanley Says Its Time To “Overweight” Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ:AMAT). Will Stock Hit Their Target of $22.00?

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Why Has Morgan Stanley Given Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ:AMAT) a $22.00 Price Target

Morgan Stanley have initiated its coverage for Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ:AMAT), this morning 15 December. The brokerage firm found the stock of AMAT quite attractive and now has a TP of $22.00 with a key “Overweight” rating.

From a total of 20 analysts covering Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) stock, 14 rate it a ”Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 6 a ”Hold”. This means that 67% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $30 while the lowest target price is $12. The mean of all analyst targets is $21.1 with a 10.28% above today’s ($18.49) stock price. Applied Materials Inc. was the topic of 31 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. CLSA downgraded shares on December 10 to “Outperform” rating. KeyBanc Capital Markets maintained shares with “Overweight” rating and $20 target share price in a report from an October 8. Cowen & Co maintained AMAT stock in a recent report from November 11 with “Outperform” rating. RBC Capital Markets downgraded the rating on October 5. RBC Capital Markets has a “Underperform” rating and a $12 price target on shares. Finally, Nomura upgraded the stock to “Buy” rating in a report issued on an October 26.

Approximately 11.81 million shares of stock traded hands. Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) has declined 9.25% since May 12, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 5.57% the S&P500.

The overall sentiment of institutions has decreased to 0.79 in Q2 2015. Its down 0.11, from 0.9 in 2015Q2. The ratio worsened, as 78 institutions have sold all the shares of Applied Materials, Inc. that they owned while 258 funds have taken shares off the table. 66 funds have purchased shares for the first time while 198 added to their positions. These institutions now hold 998.66 million shares or 1.78% less than the 1.02 billion shares they owned in 2015Q2.

The Fund Praesidium Investment Management Company Llc currently is holding shares equating to 6.39% of its total portfolio in Applied Materials, Inc. representing a total of 4.67 million shares. Another fund,Clearline Capital Lp, is holding a total of 2.39 million shares equating to 5.92% of their holdings. Additionally, National Investment Services Inc Wi has a 176,608 share stake in Applied Materials, Inc. which represents 3.07% of their total portfolio. The Fund, Empyrean Capital Partners Lp, based out of California, has also built up a stake in the stock, which represents a total of 2.93% of their total portfolio. Finally Sound Shore Management Inc Ct, a fund which is based in the state of Connecticut reported a total holdings of 10.21 million shares.

Insider activity is a very important aspect to track on any stock. Going back to May 27, 2015, shareholders of Applied Materials, Inc. have witnessed 1 buy, and a total of 3 insider sales equating to a net activity of approximately $4.68 million . Thakur Randhir sold 88,435 shares worth approximately $1.30 million. Dickerson Gary E bought 30,000 shares worth approximately $430,200. Halliday Robert J sold 25,000 shares worth approximately $499,750. James Susan M. sold 14,460 shares worth approximately $283,692. The company insider Nalamasu Omkaram sold 42,664 shares worth $866,079.

Applied Materials, Inc. provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV) and related industries. The company has a market cap of $20.71 billion. Applied operates in four divisions: Silicon Systems Group, Applied Global Services, Display, and Energy and Environmental Solutions. It has 16.46 P/E ratio. The Silicon Systems Group segment develops, makes and sells manufacturing equipment used to fabricate semiconductor chips.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Applied Materials develops, manufactures, markets and services semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment and related spare parts for the worldwide semiconductor industry. Customers for these products include semiconductor wafer manufacturers and semiconductor integrated circuit manufacturers, who either use the Ics they manufacture in their own products or sell them to other companies. These ICs are the key components in most advanced electronic products such as computers, telecommunications devices, automotive engine management systems and electronic games.”

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