Analyst Targets 50% Upside for This Chip Stock

Applied Materials will report earnings after tomorrow's close

by Patrick Martin

Published on May 15, 2019 at 10:03 AM

The shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) are up 1.8% to trade at $40.73 today, after a big bull note from Susquehanna. The brokerage firm raised its rating on the semiconductor concern to "positive" from "neutral," while upping its price target to $60 from $34 -- a nearly 50% premium to last night's close.

The analyst in coverage sees the stock as attractive for patient investors, and waxed optimistic on the company's long-term growth. Additionally, Susquehanna noted that any tariff overhangs won't impact memory chips produced outside of China.

Yesterday, Applied Materials stock snapped a six-day losing streak, gaining 2.4% to settle at $40.01. That skid found support at the shares' 100- and 200-day moving averages, the former of which has not been breached on a closing basis since late January. Year-to-date, AMAT is now up almost 25%.  

Susquehanna's new price target sits just below the equity's all-time high of $62.40, nabbed in March 2018. Overall, the analyst setup for AMAT is mostly upbeat. Prior to today, 10 of the 16 brokerages in coverage rated it a "buy" or better, while the consensus 12-month price target sits up at $49.05.

More analyst revisions could come down the pike after Applied Materials reports earnings after the market closes tomorrow, May 16. The stock has closed lower the session after earnings in four of the last eight quarters, including a 4% drop in February. This time around, the options market is pricing in a 7.8% move for Friday's trading, regardless of direction, much larger than the 3.8% swing the shares have averaged over the past two years.

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