Applied Materials (AMAT - Free Report) closed at $34.94 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.88% move from the prior day. This change lagged the S&P 500's 0.25% loss on the day. At the same time, the Dow added 0.04%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.53%.
Prior to today's trading, shares of the maker of chipmaking equipment had gained 2.38% over the past month. This has outpaced the Computer and Technology sector's loss of 3.92% and the S&P 500's loss of 2.35% in that time.
Investors will be hoping for strength from AMAT as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be November 15, 2018. In that report, analysts expect AMAT to post earnings of $0.96 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 3.23%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $4 billion, up 0.85% from the year-ago period.
It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for AMAT. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.
Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.
Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 3.09% lower. AMAT currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
Valuation is also important, so investors should note that AMAT has a Forward P/E ratio of 8.37 right now. This valuation marks a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 10.54.
Investors should also note that AMAT has a PEG ratio of 0.97 right now. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. The Semiconductor Equipment - Wafer Fabrication was holding an average PEG ratio of 0.97 at yesterday's closing price.
The Semiconductor Equipment - Wafer Fabrication industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 198, which puts it in the bottom 23% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.
Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.