Morningstar Rating

Stock Research and Analysis

by Peter Wahlstrom, CFA

Bulls Say

Applied Materials is the chip equipment industry's standard bearer. The firm has the broadest product portfolio and offers customers the closest thing to a one-stop shop.
Applied has been streamlining operations to lower its cost structure and has reinvested some of the savings in R&D in recent quarters.
Applied has benefited from the rising popularity of flat-panel displays, which share manufacturing technologies with those used in semiconductor fabrication. These displays have been a growth driver for the firm. Read more 

Bears Say

To maintain its market share, Applied must compete successfully in various segments with numerous firms that only specialize in their submarkets. Therefore, Applied may not have the best-of-breed product in every segment in which it competes.
Applied is exposed to the deeply cyclical semiconductor industry, which means that its financial results can fluctuate considerably.
The chip equipment business is challenging, and Applied has not always been successful when entering new segments. Read more 


Gary Dickerson took over as CEO from Michael Splinter in September. Dickerson had been the CEO of Varian, which Applied acquired in fiscal 2012, and is well respected in the chip equipment industry. Applied has long been regarded as having good management   Read more 


Applied Materials is the world's largest supplier of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The firm's systems are used in the chemical vapor deposition, physical vapor   Read more 

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