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Are Computer and Technology Stocks Lagging Applied Materials (AMAT) This Year?

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For those looking to find strong Computer and Technology stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Has Applied Materials (AMAT - Free Report) been one of those stocks this year? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Computer and Technology sector should help us answer this question.

Applied Materials is one of 618 individual stocks in the Computer and Technology sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #5 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.

The Zacks Rank is a proven model that highlights a variety of stocks with the right characteristics to outperform the market over the next one to three months. The system emphasizes earnings estimate revisions and favors companies with improving earnings outlooks. Applied Materials is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AMAT's full-year earnings has moved 7% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

Based on the most recent data, AMAT has returned 29.8% so far this year. Meanwhile, the Computer and Technology sector has returned an average of 12.2% on a year-to-date basis. This means that Applied Materials is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

One other Computer and Technology stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is ASML (ASML - Free Report) . The stock is up 30.8% year-to-date.

The consensus estimate for ASML's current year EPS has increased 0.6% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking more specifically, Applied Materials belongs to the Semiconductor Equipment - Wafer Fabrication industry, a group that includes 4 individual stocks and currently sits at #17 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has gained an average of 29.5% so far this year, meaning that AMAT is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns. ASML is also part of the same industry.

Going forward, investors interested in Computer and Technology stocks should continue to pay close attention to Applied Materials and ASML as they could maintain their solid performance.

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ASML Holding N.V. (ASML) - free report >>

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