Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT): Taking a Closer Look at This Stock

Investors may be looking at shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) with renewed interest over the past few trading sessions. After a recent scan, the stock has been seen trading near the $40.28 level. Staying on top of the equity market can be difficult. Knowing what information is important and how to interpret that information can be the difference between a good portfolio and a great one.

Investors are usually striving to find that next big stock to add to the portfolio. With markets still riding high, investors will be closely watching the numbers as companies start reporting quarterly earnings results. Investors will also be keeping an eye on key economic data over the next few weeks. Many individual investors will approach the stock market from various angles. This may include following fundamental and technical information, and it may also include following analyst projections.

Shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) currently have an average target price of 47.5. This is the consensus number using estimates given by polled analysts. Professional sell-side analysts that track the stock are constantly monitoring the company to assess where they believe shares will be moving in the future. Price target projections can be calculated using various methods. Many investors will follow stock target prices, especially when analysts make revisions.

The average investor might not have the time to monitor every single movement of a certain stock. Tracking the historical performance may help provide some valuable insight on where the stock may be trending in the future. Looking back over the last 4 weeks, shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) have moved 17.43%. Over the last 5 days, the stock has seen a change of 1.72%. Looking at the last 12 week period, we note that the stock has moved 19.95%. Since the beginning of the calendar year, we note that shares have changed 23.03%. Investors will often track the current stock price relative to its 52-week high and low levels. The 52-week high is currently 61.61, and the 52-week low is resting at 28.99. When shares are trading near the 52-week high or 52-week low, investors may be on the lookout for a breakout.

Sell-side analysts often undertake stock analysis to give their opinions of whether they believe that shares should be bought, sold, or held. Using ratings provided by analysts polled by Zacks Research, we note that the current average broker rating on shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) is currently 1.94. The recommendation falls on a scale between 1 and 5. A broker rating of 1 would translate into a Strong Buy. A rating of 5 would indicate a Strong Sell recommendation. This consensus broker rating may help shed some light on how the sell-side is currently viewing company stock. After a recent check, we can see that 10 sell-side analysts have rated the stock a Strong Buy or Buy, based analysts polled by Zacks Research. Professional investors often incorporate various strategies when approaching the stock market. Capitalizing on market dips can be highly profitable when thoroughly researched and executed. Closely monitoring earnings, news, and analyst views may play an important role in equity study.

Investors might be looking to sharpen the gaze and focus on recent market action. As we move into the second part of the year, everyone will be watching to see which way the stock market momentum shifts. Many believe that the bulls are still charging while others feel like the bears may be waiting in the wings. There are various schools of thought when it comes to trading stocks. Investors may have to first asses their appetite for risk in order to start creating a solid investment plan. 

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