Applied Materials Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, November 16, 2011. Applied Materials manufacturers and produces capital equipments, and it provides manufacturing equipment, software, and solutions for the global semiconductor, flat panel liquid crystal displays, solar, and related industries. .

Applied Materials, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 21 cents per share, a decline of 41.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 33 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 21 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 47.7% versus last year to $1.30.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 2 cents, reporting net income of 35 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 33 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $2.16 billion in revenue this quarter, a decline of 25.3% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $10.53 billion for the year, a rise of 10.3% from last year’s revenue of $9.55 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on Applied Materials as eight analysts rate it as a buy, one rates it as a sell and nine rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose more than threefold to $476 million (36 cents a share) from $123.1 million (9 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 10.7% to $2.79 billion from $2.52 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 42.4%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 89.1% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 85.2% in the second quarter and more than sixfold in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Novellus Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVLS), KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC), Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX), Mattson Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTSN), FSI International, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSII), Tegal Corporation (NASDAQ:TGAL), Axcelis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACLS), Ultratech, Inc. (NASDAQ:UTEK), CVD Equipment Corporation (NASDAQ:CVV), and ASM Intl. N.V. (NASDAQ:ASMI).

Stock Price Performance: During August 17, 2011 to November 10, 2011, the stock price had risen 71 cents (6.2%) from $11.54 to $12.25. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between September 9, 2011 and September 15, 2011 when shares rose for five-straight days, rising 8.8% (+94 cents) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 22, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 11.2% (-$1.31) over that span. Shares are down $1.56 (-11.3%) year to date.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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