Applied Materials Reports 3Q Earnings
Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT – $14.85) the global leader in manufacturing solutions for the semiconductor, display and solar industries, generated net sales of $1.98 billion, essentially flat sequentially, but well off the $2.34 billion in the same period a year ago. The company reported adjusted net income of $223 million or $0.18 per share and a penny shy of analysts’ estimates. Revenue also fell short of expectations of $2.06 billion. The company is now projecting revenues for the current period would stay flat with the recent quarter, whereas analysts were anticipating a sales gain of about 4%. Applied said it expects an adjusted EPS range of 16-20 cents; below analysts’ expectations of $0.21 per share. Following the disappointing earnings release, Applied named company president Gary Dickerson as its new Chief Executive, replacing Michael Splinter, who was named the company’s new executive chairman. Shares of Applied Materials are not likely to advance more than the market averages over the next year; however this stock may appeal to long-term investors given its above-average appreciation potential out to 2016-2018, as well as a solid, well-covered dividend yielding 2.5%. Nonetheless, this position needs monitoring and any further deterioration in industry fundamentals may warrant a look toward better opportunities elsewhere. Despite a better outlook for 2014, the shares are up over 30% in the past twelve months and may be running out of steam.